The Essay


It was March 15, 1997. The time too early to remember. What was clear however, was the fact that I was soon going to be on my own in a country where I did not know the language or the people that I would be meeting there and staying with. The adrenaline rushed through me as I packed the last of my things and ran out of the door. I closed the door to my house and jumped in the car. The idea of leaving America and going to Japan seemed to really not have hit me yet, but now that I look back I know that I had to feel it. I think that the things that I was feeling was such a blob of mixed emotions that I really did not know how to feel so I will just say that I was excited. At the airport I met my best friend and two other friends of mine from school. We would all be traveling together, most all the time. The only things that would really be different would be where we lived and who we would live with. As the flight, Northwest number 69 to Detroit was called I could hardly wait and I jumped up, not being able to wait to board. We needed to travel to Detroit to get our connection flight to Osaka, Kansai International Airport. As soon as the plane took off it landed. Detroit was a very quick flight, only about an hour. Being a little nervous about not having enough time to make our flight I urged everyone to hurry along and to try and walk fast so that we could make our connection. Little did I know to my surprise after literally storming through the airport, the flight was delayed. Well that was okay, because we had three hours to do whatever we wanted, just the four of us in the Detroit Airport. Well we shopped, and we ate lunch. After a considerable amount of time, we boarded the plane, and off to Japan we went. I think that I knew how much trouble I was in when I heard four different meals, and five movie choices come across the loud speaker. The estimated flying time from Detroit to Osaka was about thirteen and one half hours. No big deal. I love sleeping really I do. I slept, and I watched three movies, and before I knew it there were only six hours to go. I was pumped, I could not sleep or sit anymore and I resorted to sit ups, and jumping jacks. I knew that I was a little bored, I never really just stand somewhere and do jumping jacks. I really think that from that point on the rest of the flight was quite easy and before I really knew it we were on the ground. The plane that we had been on was really big, and well I made sure to explore the entire thing, even the top floor. As we got off the plane, I made sure to thank the stewardesses and then I stepped out of the plane and into the airport. We had to walk forever to get to this monorail thing, and then we had to walk from the monorail to customs. It was quite a tour of the airport that I got. It was so clean and the people there were so quiet and polite, this was something really new to me. As we went through customs, all that I could think about was trying to find Mr. Mano, the man that was supposed to be meeting us right outside of customs. I knew that he would find us, because for some strange reason the four of us stood out. Gees could it be that we all had either brown or blond hair? After our bags came through, the challenge was on. Where was Mr. Mano? Like I said, he would find us easily. This eager man came running towards us and was ever so happy to welcome us to his country. Next stop, the train ticket office. We still had a two or two and a half hour train ride to get to