Friday, July 21, 2006

to Japan

There was a flurry of activity in the final days before leaving as we tried to accomplish everything on our to do list. We managed to complete all the important items -- moving out, packing, booking our flight to Europe; some other things will have to wait until we return. It was stressful, both of us sleeping just a few hours Monday night and not at all on Tuesday. Complete relief was had by finally making it to the airport and checking in with a little time to spare before our flight.

We flew on JAL, which was a nice introduction to what was in store for us here: people speaking mostly Japanese, a little English mixed in, and eel for lunch. Very tasty. We're getting an easy introduction to the country, since we're with a group for the next two weeks that includes some Japanese speakers.

The outline of our plan is this. In Japan for two weeks with my taiko group. We'll be sightseeing and playing a little bit, attending a few of the many festivals held everywhere during the summer throughout Japan. Then we're on our own for the next two weeks, first visiting friends up north on Hokkaido in Asahikawa, then south to the island of Shodoshima. We have JapanRail passes (think eurorail) that will get us practically anywhere in the country where the trains run on time ALWAYS. On 16 Aug we fly back to LAX, visit our storage locker (it's very cozy and air-conditioned, if they let me, I'd consider living there, they have running water and hispeed internet access, neither of shich we'll have when visiting Evan in Moldova) to dump what we no longer need and fly to London on 17 Aug. We spend the day at Gatwick, flying to Prague to meet Evan and hang out for a week. Another week of free time during which we'll travel to Moldova where we'll stay while Evan begins his work teaching English to the schoolkids. We get to help, or at least be a show-and to help, or at least be a show-and-tell item for the teacher. Then off to Croatia by 12 Sept, where Anne and I will relax on 12 Sept, where Anne and I will relax on Brac, a small island somewhere in the Adriatic, I think. We still need to figure out the next bit, but it likely involves boats, buses, trains and airplanes. getting to London by 22 Sept and flying back to LAX on 26 Sept, ready to look for an apartment. Whew.


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