Thursday, August 12, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Japan here I come! Well Kirsten (my sisters good friend) and I have headed to Japan! We left early Sunday afternoon and spent 14 hours on airplanes, 3 hours on trains and then 30 min in car... but we are here!

Let's start form the very beginning of this adventure! Kris was nice enough to take me to the airport. We got the girls ready for church so that as soon as they dropped me off they could head back to church. The ride was going well until Kris pointed out Molly's funny little face! She had kind of a pouty face. Totally thinking she was kidding I just kind of playing around with her. I asked her why she had that face on. Then the water works started. She was so cute! "I'm just sad because I'm going to miss you! and she just kept crying! not the trying to be dramatic hysterical cry, just the trying to hold it back, but tears roiling down her face. That's when I started! It's been hard trying to get things settled to head to Japan, but now that it was here I knew I was going to miss them like crazy! And Molly's tears were not helping. I got a little teary myself. It was hard to say good by. Molly was not feeling well, which I know added to her sensitivity and my feeling guilty. Once at the airport I met up with Kirst and we checked our bags and headed up to board. Other than the a REALLY rocky landing in Tokyo the flight was uneventful and long. We had attempted a sleeping pill in hopes we would sleep all the way to Japan.... no such luck. I think I slept a total of 2 hours at the beginning.
Once we landed in Japan and made it though customs and got our baggage we headed out and got some train tickets to take us to Tokyo. You would think coming into the Tokyo airport you would be in Tokyo... Nope! So we made it to the train, just down in the basement of the airport and were off to Tokyo and from there we had to catch the Shinkonsen, AKA the Shink or Bullet Train. The amazing thing that we noticed right off the bat was that Japan is so clean! Once the train got there they cleared it and then cleaned it, the same with the Shinkonsen. Navigating our way though Tokyo station was CRAZY! When I got the instructions from Kat on how to get to Nagoya, being as Tokyo is not my parents area so they couldn't pick us up, were to follow the signs and gave us two numbers one for the mission home and one for the mission office... After about an hour we got to Tokyo station I was still not 100% sure we were getting off on the right stop, 95% sure, but I didn't want to get off the wrong way. Up to this point we had asked a few people for help and they were all very nice. There was a man standing by the door with us and I just asked him..."Is this the right stop for us?" while showing him my tickets and then outside, knowing he would most likely not know what I was saying so thinking adding a little charades into the mix would help out. He looked at the tickets and in his perfect English said "ya this is the right stop." He was so nice. He asked if this was our first trip to Japan and told us how safe it was. He said you can ask anyone anything and feel safe. We decided to take it a step further and ask him where to catch the Shink. Once we were getting off the shink he said... Here follow me I'll take you there. HOLY COW! Can I tell you how many millions of people there were and here I am with my two HUGE bags, Kirst is caring my huge carry on, my biggest bag was for my mom, with all of the stuff she had requested. So here I am trying to pull these 40+ lb bags and follow this guy, who by the way had to help me up the stairs with my bags, through all of these millions of people. I have never seen so many people in my whole life in one place! This nice guy walked up right up to where we put in our tickets to make it to the platform, and then he told us goodbye and turned around and went back the way we came from, and we had come quite a ways! While we were waiting for the Shink I looked at Kirst and said, knowing my parents were going to meet us at Nagoya station. I said... If that station is anything like Tokyo we will never find them! She agreed! Once On the Shinkonsen we were both really tired and trying to stay awake. I could see poor Kirsten's head bobbing. We spent 2 hours on the Shinkonsen and while I was looking at the back of the seat I saw a map like picture of the Shink and noticed that there was a phone on there. Kat had said that there ware phones all over the place and to just call when we get here, but I hadn't not seen a phone since we got off the plane, but I wasn't really looking either. Kirst and I were just trying to make one train after another. So sitting on the Shink seeing that there is a phone on the Shink I thought I would give it a try. So I found the phone and then realized that it only takes phone cards, which I didn't have. So I turned around to go out of the phone booth and couldn't figure out how to get out! I was totally stuck. Oh I think I was just really tired and didn't have a clue of what I was doing! I finally just pushed really hard and got it opened. Once we made it to Nagoya station we decided to head out and just wait. As we were walking I saw a girl wearing cute short and as I looked closer I realized that she was totally a guyjin (foreigners) then I realized that it was Whitney! Hooray! I yelled and then I yelled again and then Kirst and I both yelled and then she turned around. She took us to the other side of the platform where mom, dad, kat and the AP's were. Oh it was so fun. Again for the second time there were tears. I gave my dad a hug and that's when it started! Oh it's so good to be here with them and see where they are living and what they are doing and meet all of these amazing people that I keep hearing about! We drove back to the mission home had some cereal and talked and headed to bed! Oh I'm so glad that I'm here!

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