Monday, July 31, 2006

Japan Phrase #1: "awa o sukoshi dake kudasai"

The phrase in the title of this entry is one given by a Living in Japan website. In Japan there are many different brands of beer, and even two different styles, one pricey, one cheap. It seems that Japanese bartenders tend to put alot of head on the pricey beer to save on costs, so if you ever find yourself in a Japanese bar and the bartender's trying to screw you over just say "awa o sukoshi dake kudasai," which translates to "Please, not alot of foam." Take that Japanese bartenders! Don knows how to run your bar tabs up like mad!

While I am still a ways away from leaving Canada for Japan I still intend to update this blog when big events happen. Booking the flight is, in my mind, worthy enough to warrent an entry. So, I receive the email informing me that it is time to book the flight to Japan. Considering the costs to travel from the airport in Tokyo and my complete inability to navigate foreign countries (I'm just asuming that considering I haven't been to a foreign country) I have to book with the Nova Group to travel on the group flight. This means that whatever price they give me for my one-way ticket, I'm stuck paying it. I book the flight that originates in Thunder Bay, travels to Toronto, Vancouver and ends up in Tokyo. And I wait for the price, fearing that my credit card is soon going to get out of my wallet and kick me in the testicles. What I got was an extremely pleasant surprise! $1060.00 as opposed to the standard $2500+ one way. Incredible! I'm not going to be too much in debt once I get over there! Life is good!

Now that I have sent off all of my flight info to the Nova Group for flight confirmation I am just waiting for where I will be at. Once that info comes in, I'll be going nuts with research and analysis to see how this location is going to work out for me. And once I know you, the loyal reader, will know. So please, read on and hope for a great location. Something with alot to write about.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Japan Fact #1: "I don't have one cause I'm not there!" - Donald Ames

And so begins the highly anticipated, hugely epic "Land of the Rising Don: A Japanese Saga" Like the title? I know I do! It's cause I created it, that's why! But that's neither here nor there. This is the inaugural edition of my documentation of the entire Japan experience. I'm still not too sure how much internet access I will have in Japan but I'm hoping that this will be kept extremely constant. For now, however, I am documenting what has happened so far and what is to soon come.

I've decided to begin this documentation of the entire event due to the fact that I have just received my official flight date. September 5th, 2006 I will be leaving Pearson Airport in Toronto, Canada. The next day, September 6th, I will be on foreign soil after touching down in Tokyo, Japan. I'm not sure yet if this is my final destination but I can only hope! Though I don't really have a preference to where I go in Japan (come on, it's freakin' Japan!) living in the big city of Tokyo would be an incredible experience. Plus, it'll make unknown variables such as internet, cuisine and all those important ones so much easier with tons of variety and the possibility of finding more English-speaking people. So yeah, Sept. 5th. Mark it on your calendar as the day in which all that is good and sacred in your life will leave you for a full year. But that's just a physical seperation. Constant communication is definately going to be there. If you are ever feeling lonely and need a little Don in your geography, just grab a bean bag chair and mush it around a bit. That'll fill in for me perfectly!

Since I am now starting to get into Japan-mode while still being stuck in Northwestern Ontario, I've decided to start documenting some of the pros and cons of this trip. Let's see...

Pro
- I'll be travelling to a foreign land
- I'll get to experience Japanese culture
- Nothing beats sushi from its originating source
- I love the show Iron Chef
- Seizure-inducing cartoons

Cons
- I'll be leaving Canada, my home for 24 years
- I'll be leaving great family and friends
- I'll be leaving a great relationship
- No new Survivor episodes for a year
- Eating with sticks is difficult for me right now
- Language barrier will be difficult to overcome at first

It's shaping up to be an interesting experience! Stay tuned for more at both my My MSN Space site and my blogger.com site, landoftherisingdon.

~Don