So, if all this technology worked right this should actually post as I am leaving ROC for ORD, my only stop enroute to NRT (Tokyo, Japan). Over the last few weeks people have been asking me if I am still going to Japan on holiday and my answer has been an unwavering yes. Granted things looked a little sketchy for a bit there, the trains from Narita into Tokyo proper were running at reduced rates (and even briefly closed) and I admit I was not really liking the idea of tossing down 23,000円-25,000円 ($280 - $310) right out the gate for a taxi, or rolling around in a bus for 2 to 3 hours after flying for 20 but if that was the price I was going to have to pay I was willing to pay it. Once the trains resumed service last week I felt confident that the trip would be problem-free and the anxiety was left behind. I have full faith in both the Japanese government, people and the international group of scientists that are working on the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as well as the relief workers bringing aid to the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami. Along with donating to the Red Cross, bringing in a little tourism money and showing some faith is about the best I can come up with to do to help.
I enjoy international travel. I think that the more of this world that we can see the better off we are as people and the better we come to understand ourselves. This is certainly not my first time out of the country nor even off the continent but I admit this trip has a special place in my heart because I expect the sheer weight of the culture shock to be unlike anything I've ever felt before. I have been to the UK and Australia and as a native of a former British colony it really wasn't all that different. Yes I had to drive on the other side of the car and road, yes the slang was different, and yes the money was funny colors and had pictures of the Monarchy on it but for all intents in purposes we all shared a common cultural liniage. Thursday evening (Japan Time) when I step out of the airplane I will be for the first time completely out of my element and I am excited beyond words to experience that for the first time.
Surfing Safely, from somewhere in the Universe, Matt