Japan 2012; An epic adventure post 29

From the journal of Christopher Sanford Beck on November 7, 2012

Today started out as quite a normal day. I woke up at 7:30 and myself out of bed so that I could have a shower and eat breakfast. I picked my outfit out carefully, so that I was wearing my most comfortable clothes, which included HeatTech shirt and pants. Yatchan prepared some breakfast for me, three Meccan oranges, a banana, yogurt and a glass of milk. Then I brought all of my luggage down stairs, it was so heavy! I hoped that it would be under the weight limit at the airport because I could hardly carry it. Luckily Yatchan said that it would be fine. Catherine was enjoying a sleep-in so Yatchan, Atsu and I walked Ayana to the bus stop. I was really sad as I hugged Ayana good bye and told her that I would see her again sometime, and watched her bus drive away down the street. The first good-bye of the Takasugi Family.
Once we got home, Catherine was up and helped me do some last minute preparations. The four of us all hung out in the living room and I savoured the last minutes that I would be with Catherine and Atsushi. Yatchan had taken the day of work so that he could take me to the airport. I tried not to cry as I gave Ats and Catherine huge hugs.
“Arigato goziamashta” I said with a formal bow. (Thank you very much in the most respectful way)
We laughed and I knew how much I would miss them. Shouldering my huge back and carrying a sweater, Yatchan and I started walking down the block to the bus stop. I turned around as we rounded the bend and waved and blew kisses to Catherine and Atsushi who were standing in the drive way.
“I sure had an amazing time.” I said to Yat
“So did we.” He smiles.
While we were on the short bus ride to Mushashi Uruwa, where we would catch a train to Narita airport, Yatchan told me a story of when he was traveling in the USA. He was very unfamiliar with the American transit system and he ended up missing his stop several times and going around and around on the bus route for hours until he got off in front of a church and a sympathetic church lady drove him to his hotel.
Once we got to Mushashi Uruwa, we realized that we were quite early, and wanting to arrive at the airport in good time so that we didn’t miss my flight at 15:55 ( 3:55) we jumped onto a earlier train, going to the same place. The train was quite full and we had to sit beside a man who seemed to be filling the whole car with his odour! Luckily he got off at the next stop and Yatchan and I could breath freely again. During e next two hours or so on various trains, Yatchan told me lots of stories of his travels and assured me that my trip would be fine. We had a great time laughing and joking around together until we could see the massive figure of the Narita Airport complex looming before us.
Once we were in the airport, we dumped my stuff onto a cart and went looking around for my flights check in/baggage drop off. On the way, Yatchan glanced over at the arrivals/departures board and realized that my flight had been delayed almost five hours! At first panic ran through me. Dad would already be on his way to the airport! But after calling Dammie and Dampa, who he was staying the night with, and asking them to tell him about the delay, a rush of excitement ran through me. Yatchan and I got to spend 6 1/2 hours together, since we where of course early!
We spent our time wandering around the airport, telling funny stories and goofing around. Among other things, we got lunch at McDonald’s, took it outside to where we could see the planes landing and taking off, and sucked on our straws while they were touching an ice cube so that the ice cube was suctioned on. Then we had a contest of who could blow it the farthest. I won. Hanging out with Yatchan was just like hanging out with one of my friends from home! After dropping off my luggage and checking me in, Yatchan had the bright idea to sign me up as a Star Alliance member which means I can collect air miles and get money off towards my next flight! While we wandered, Yatchan suggested that we have a competition to try to use EVERY SINGLE WASHROOM in the airport, since we still had four hours left. I gladly took up the challenge and we promptly went to the nearest water fountain and took a long drink. We looked around in lots of the shops and bookstores, and we relaxed by a fountain. We watched planes land and played games together. We had a great time. It reminded me of when I would go over to one of my best friends house in Canada and spend the day.
About halfway through our mid afternoon snack, I casually told Yatchan about what would happen if you put Mentos into Coke(a cola). He didn’t believe me! He thought for sure I was pulling his leg and it didn’t help that I was laughing my he’d off, because he didn’t believe me. So we modified the version of the experiment, not wanting to create a geyser in the middle of the airport, and set out to find some Coke and Mentos. Finding the Coke was easy enough, we just stopped at one of the convenience stores, but finding Mentos was harder. After looking around on all levels of the airport, we finally found some at. Foreign food place.
We went to the ground level of the airport and went outside, so not to cause a mess, and opened our Coke and Mentos. Showing Yatchan what to do, I popped a mento into my mouth and told him to do the same. Then I instructed him that on the count of three, we would take a gulp of Coke, keep it in our mouths, and try not to spew it when the reaction happened! Still sceptical, Yatchan did as I said and I almost spewed my own Coke as I watched his eyes widen and cheeks puffed as he fought to keep the bubbling concoction in his mouth. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and spat out the Coke. We both laughed our heads off.
“See? What did I tell you!” I said and popped another Mento into my mouth. This time Yatchan took a smaller sip and managed to contain the liquid. For those of you who do not know what happens when you combine Coke and Mentos, they basically explode, creating a huge geyser (if you drop two or three Mentos into a full bottle of Coke) or in our case, causing the explosion in our mouths. Yatchan to.d me that he had NEVER seen this before, and I told him that it was common practice for kids on Canada. By the time we finished our “experiment” it was time for us to have supper, and almost time for me to go! I was so sad to be leaving so soon. The time had flown by so quickly.
After my last supper in Japan of Udon (thick noodles) with egg and chicken, I had to go.
Setting down my carry on bag, I gave Yatchan a big hug and told him how very, very thankful I was for allowing me to share in his life for a month, and how I felt so accepted into the family. Then an ANA (All Nippon Airways) man to take me through customs and security and I waved goodbye to Yatchan before I lost sight of him.
Once all the passenger where on the plane, we took off. I had a window seat, and nobody sitting beside me, so I could stretch out to sleep. Right now, I am writing this journal entry through heavy turbulence and I’m really scared. Looking around me, I see several people crossing them selves and looking worried. Luckily it’s subsiding and I feel great.
All throughout the flight, I watched TV and movies and slept, it seemed the pilot was announcing that we would soon be landing so soon! Looking out of my window, I realized how HIGE Calgary is. When the flight landed, and I was through customs and security I saw Dad. I was home!

Part 1



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ecosophian on March 25, 2013 at 4:12 am

    I remember this trip home Christopher! I was in Canmore, watching the airport website, as your flight got further and further delayed. But boy, was it ever good to see you when you finally came through the airport doors!
    (ps … by the way, you probably want the word “concoction” rather than “conception”!)


    • yes, I was so worried that you didnt know and would arrive at the airport and have to wait 5 hours! Glad you didnt.
      P.S. Thanks, I will change that


  2. Posted by jacquee on March 25, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Your story is definitely EPIC!! You start off with an earthquake & end up with 6 hr. delay. A month living with a family can make you close. Leaving must have been hard but arriving is momentous. You have grown in experience, have blossomed into more of who you are & will be. I’ve enjoyed this trip immensely & thank you for the experience. With a little attention paid to type errors, you have the makings of a really good writer. peace J


    • Thank you so much Auntie Jacquee! I am saving up to go back, I think I have about $415 put away in the bank, but I don’t think I will be going back for a while.


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