Holy crap, I'm here! I survived my trip here to Nagoya!
It was the adventure of a lifetime just getting here, and by that I mean, I almost died!
Here is the condensed version.
Since there were typhoon warnings for Nagoya area, our plane couldn't land at Chubu. Instead we landed at Narita outside of Tokyo. From there, our crummy airline just dropped us off and said "find your own way!" The only "help" they offered, was a form to collect reimbursement for taking the shinkansen to Nagoya.
I was so scared. I had never been in Japan before, had almost no money, and was beginning to doubt my Japanese as panic set in. Then suddenly, a young couple, H-san and Y-san, approached me and asked if I was traveling by myself. They said they were going to Nagoya too, and asked if I wanted to go with them on the shinkansen.
They waited for me while I got through customs. Then, they helped me purchase the right tickets to get to Nagoya on the shinkansen. They knew the way, and were able to get us to all the trains on time.
In all, we rode two bullet shinkansen, a densha, and a bus. They even bought me my first ekiben from Tokyo station, which we ate together. They spoke little English, and my Japanese is pretty infantile, but we understood each other for the most part. It is a funny thing with language, when you are learning... I can understand perfectly well, but forming my own responses is difficult.
I don't know where I would be without them! There is no way I would have been able to get here safely by myself. Thank god for the rare few with golden hearts, helping others without hesitation...
I don't want to generalize, but it seems that attitude towards others is common here. The bus driver helped me take my luggage off the bus, and no sooner had I started rolling away than another gentleman asked if I needed help. When I finally got to my destination, the arrival crew took all of my bags for me and showed me to my room. I was a little embarrassed, but didn't want to be rude and refuse the kind gesture.
Yes, I had a bad-- or TERRIBLE experience with my airliner, who dropped me in the middle of a foreign country (do not fly Delta!). However, the people here and the atmosphere reassure me, that things will look up.
In the mean time, I have all ready unpacked. Today's adventure, was a bit of shopping. I ran into one of my old classmates, B-san, who happens to be staying in the same apartment complex! Together, we went to a hykau-en store this morning; it is about the equivalent of a Dollar store in the US.
Here are some pictures of my trip...
Things I highly recommend buying: eco-totes and coin purses. The grocery stores charge 3 en per plastic bag, and you bag your own groceries. I like bagging my own groceries, and 3 en is only pennies, but still! I think the point trying to be made is that we should be more environmentally conscious anyway.
Also, the coin purse. I came to Japan with bills, and as I made change, kept losing my coins. That would be a trivial problem in the US, but here, coins can be valued up to 500 en, or about $6. That being said, it is worth keeping track of them!
Tomorrow, there is nothing scheduled, so B-san and I might take the train into Nagoya city. I want to look around Sakae, and I'm sure there's a lot to do. Besides, I want to get a gift for B-san, who "fixed" my aircon. By that I mean, I confused my kanji, and set my a/c to "heat"! No wonder I was too hot to sleep last night!