Now for the longest three days in recent memory. I mean, not much can be said in terms of what I expected and what I definitely did not think about, but basically the JET orientation in Tokyo was a huge daze of information fed and repeated while we tried to figure out what exactly was “cool biz” appropriate.
But seriously, walking into the main hall for our welcome reception I think the biggest thing that hit me was just the fact that there were so many of us (not only keeping in mind that there are another two groups after ours). At some point we were told that there are about 2,000 JETs this year, and at least a thousand fit into this room.
We sat patiently through various workshops, lectures, and redundancy, while basically taking three things away from it:
1.) Don’t Drink
2.) Don’t Upset Your Boss
3.) You Represent Your Country
It’s all really just a big blur looking back on it, but I think I retained enough to come in handy when I really need it. That night there was a closing reception where I could finally meet all the people heading to Fukui prefecture with me, and I’ve gotta say: despite there being a bunch of us, I really lucked out in terms of having a cool crew to join me on this journey. I suppose only time will tell, but for now I’m doing alright.
I think the most amazing part of being in Tokyo was the ability to see my long lost roommate and onii-chan, Yasushi. After a day like the one I had I was ready to pass out before 9 o’clock, but once I trudged down to the lobby to see him I became revitalized. It’s hard to believe that it’d been over two years since we’d seen each other, and it really didn’t feel like any time had passed since I waved him goodbye back at St. Olaf. We spent most of the night out, and it really gave me a sense of assurance that whatever does happen to me in Japan I’ll always find a home to go back to. Today was really the first time that I realized I’d be OK staying here for more than a year, or at least in the sense that I had nothing to fear about not going home after this one had passed. Although again, only time will tell.