My first experiences of Japan

I left for London Heathrow early on the 13th of September to await the long flight ahead of me. It took eleven hours to get to Hong Kong and then a further 3 hours to get to Haneda airport in Tokyo. Japan being 9 hours ahead I arrived on the 14th early afternoon. So it felt like I had lost out on a whole day.

After grabbing my bags, sacrificing my fingerprints and receiving my residence card I met with Teruhiro Takenouchi, the owner of the English school, at departures. He was ready with a Japanese equivalent of the Oyster card, “Suica”, and he laughed at my Union Jack suitcase as he helped me load them on to a train that went into the Saitama prefecture, just out side of Tokyo. We picked up his car and he drove me into Kazo City and to my new apartment.

When arriving at my apartment I find out that I am sharing it with Blaine, the Canadian whom is currently the native teacher at the school. I find out the reason is because he is leaving the following Friday to go back to Canada to finish his studies. I ask Teru how many teachers will be at the school. He says “It is just you and me.”. I arrived to replace Blaine.

I feet shattered but Blaine asks if I want to get a bite to eat. I felt like it was a good idea to get some food and see a bit of Kazo, although I didn’t have any Japanese Yen, so we try find the nearest cash point. By this time all of the cash points are closed, forcing us to walk around aimlessly. Luckily we end up seeing Teru’s wife, Kumiko, in the street. She is incredibly accommodating and gives me 5000 Yen to go get some beer, after only about 30 seconds of meeting her. She apologized for her English being bad after having a perfectly understandable conversation and bids us fair well saying “Toodle Loo!”. So Blaine takes me to an Izakaya, a Japanese style bar with table service of beers and food. We get quite drunk and go back to the apartment after I can’t handle staying awake anymore.

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