Thursday, August 5, 2010

One year here!

One year ago today, I arrived in the great Wakk of Nai! That day was so exciting and overwhelming. All the Hokkaido Group B ALTs flew from Tokyo to Sapporo, where we were met by our supervisors. Though I had practiced my Japanese self-introduction a million times as we flew north, I (of course) immediately forgot it when I actually met my supervisor. I'm glad he turned out to speak English fluently!

Next, we flew on to our final destination. It was so interesting to see the landscape of Hokkaido pass by as we headed further north. We actually flew out over the sea before landing. I remember leaving the airport and walking into a pleasantly cool afternoon. It was a nice change after Mississippi/Tokyo weather.

As we drove into the city, I felt a bit like I was in the movie Pride and Prejudice. The coast was a bit lush and wild, and we passed a lake that really reminded me of the movie. We drove past my apartment, where a bunch of BOE staff members were busily cleaning everything for me (I thought that was really sweet).

I was checked into the hotel (I don't think I did anything) and left for a few minutes before dinner. That was really the first time I had been alone since leaving Nashville. At that moment, everything kind of rushed in at once. It was a bit overwhelming. I was actually in Japan and in my city that would be my home for at least the next year. All other ALTs were gone, and now it was just me.

Thankfully, my BOE knew better than to leave me all alone the first night! Three of the staff members took me out to a local Western-style restaurant for dinner, which was really fun.

The next morning, I put on my little suit and went to breakfast. It was a full-on Japanese style breakfast, complete with fish and rice and miso soup...with no spoon. I couldn't figure out how in the heck I was supposed to eat soup with no spoon, so I wound up just leaving it.

I don't remember much about my first day, but that may have been because we didn't spend much time at the office. There were lots of tasks to be run, like getting my alien card and things for my apartment (so I didn't have to sleep on the tatami). Boy, I wish we could spend office days shopping now! That would be nice!

After my first day, we had a mini-welcome party with several staff members. That was also my first time to eat a raw egg (not in cookie dough).

Boy, things have come a long way since then!

1 comment:

Dad said...

It must have felt wonderful to have others help you so much. I am glad they were able to clean your apartment for you. It was really nice of them to not leave you alone the first night you were there. I bet you were really glad for all the help.