Sunday, August 06, 2006
Wednesday, August 2nd was the longest day of my life. Literally. Technically it was 37 hours long. I had seen the sun rise twice. On the way to California we actually were beating the sun, until it caught up to us, for a beautiful 2nd "in-air" sunrise. When my plane from Saga arrived in Tokyo, I met up with a bunch of other YFU students in a bus to go to the other Tokyo airport to head home. The air trip from Saga was the perfect amount of time to just think about everything from the past summer by myself. Meeting up with my YFU friends was great, since there were so many stories to share. Although many of us were exhausted, we didn't sleep on the 10-hour trip over the pacific to California. We all were out of our seats, practically sitting on floors in the narrow isles just to talk with friends. Like I said before, we may have only known each other for days, or hours, but yet we were so close due to our experiences being in common. It was so funny because I think EVERYONE had their last box of Pocky or other Japanese candy to share on the plane. Along with this many had cheezy souvenirs from their past summers, but each had their own unique story to go along with it. When we got to California is where many of us began to depart our separate ways. It was annoying, since all of us were confused as to what was going on. We felt like a heard of cows, on top of the fact of feeling light-headed and dirty from the long plane trips. On that day I spent almost 18 hours in flight, and up to 24 just being in airports. It was a long day. So long in fact that saying bye to Japan, and saying goodbye to American friends actually felt like different days. Regardless, all of the discomfort was forgotten when I was greeted by my friends and family that night at the airport, and the next morning at my home. I am sure other YFU kids are experiencing the same thing I am right now: peace sign withdrawls. It is hard since I have to remind myself not to do it... it has become so natural! The only immediate reverse culture shock that I can report right now is the fact that Michigan and Troy's space took me by quick surprise. I hadn't realized how crowded everything was in Japan. It may be one of the first of many things that I am realizing I took for granted before. I think this new awareness will be a good thing.