Waiting at the Boarding Gate (AKA Anyone With Any Objections Should Speak up Now)

This is going to be a stream of consciousness thing because I’m really bored and boarding time isn’t for another twenty minutes.  (That’s a lot of boards in one sentence.)

So the International Terminal at SFO is dead.  Like really dead.  Like set from the Walking Dead dead.  I guess it makes sense though.  American Thanksgiving isn’t exactly an international holiday.

The lack of crowds still didn’t make the whole TSA Security Screening thing any less annoying though.  Then again, I wore like ten layers of clothes, forgot to take my laptop out of my bag the first time around, left my wallet and iPod in my jeans pocket because I wasn’t paying attention, and almost left my passport with the first dude at the head of the line.  In other words, maybe the TSA screening sucked extra hard this time because I’m a freaking idiot.

I got to my gate with a whole whopping hour to spare, meaning penny of time to sit around and act really really bored.  I have an entire row of waiting area seats to myself but the stupid seat dividers mean I can’t lay down like the sloth that I am.


Pro-tip: Check you departure time before you leave the house.  My flight to Haneda turned out to be an hour earlier than I thought it was going to be.  If we hadn’t left so damn early, I would have been in a world of hurt.


Things Observed at the Boarding Gate

  • Old white lady freaking out because she thinks someone stole her boarding pass to the point that she starts hyperventilating.  Where did the pass turn out to be?  Her husband’s pocket.  Yep folks, you just can’t make this stuff up.  Even as I write this ten minutes later, she’s still having trouble breathing.  
  • Nerdy-looking white college student girls obviously discussing what they’re going to cosplay as when they get to Tokyo.
  • Sloppy bathroom janitor dropping his piece of gum on the floor and then, after waiting a few pregnant seconds, popping said dust-crusted piece back into his mouth after retrieving it with the end of his broomstick.
  • Young attractive couple that may be on their honeymoon practically having sex under the escalators.

Boarding time is in ten minutes.  The next time I write, it’ll be from Japan and my new life in Japan will have begun.  Whoopdie-doo.


-Stephen out.


PS Why aren’t airports designed with like a bazillion power outlets.  It’s the 21st century and airplanes aren’t designed with power outlets either?  Just a thought…

On the Eve of My Big Move

Remember when I wrote that I’d be a good blogger and update and write things on a consistent basis like a good boy?  I lied.  I’d like to say that I’ve been too busy to write but that’d be a boldface lie.  The majority of my days over the past two months have passed with marathon Doctor Who Blu Ray collection sessions and getting more in-depth into basketball statistics than is probably healthy for a normal human being.  But all those days, all those wasted hours have been done in preparation for this moment, this day.

As I write this, I only have about 20 more hours left in the United States before I haul two suitcases jammed to the brim with snotty office clothes that I never imagined I’d ever wear onto a plane bound for Japan and the high-stakes world of underground wolf wrangling.  Okay, so maybe I made that last bit up in a desperate attempt to impress you guys and not seem like a total sad sack.  Here’s the reality of my whole move thingy:

  • The destination: Mito-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
  • The job: English instructor/ teacher at a large chain English conversational school (Not quite sure if I want to disclose which company at this juncture)
  • The salary: 250,000 yen a month (I think)

My contract official ends in March of 2014 due to a technicality but I’m actually probably signed until 2015, at which point, who knows what the hell’s going to happen.  Until that point, I’m going to be living in Japan, away from my family, away from my friends, away from my beloved American sports (which is probably a good thing because I swear I’m a bad luck charm for the 49ers), and more importantly, away from all of the people who have filed restraining orders against me.  In short, if graduating from college wasn’t enough of one, this is a brand new start from scratch (disregarding the four suits I’m bringing with me and the laptop I’m typing this on).  I didn’t really need a fresh start or anything but I find that concept all sorts of fascinating.  All those ties and social circles I’ve acquired over the years? Gone.  That safety net of family and friends? Adios friendo.  Now, if I screw things up (which I probably will… repeatedly), I’ve only got myself to blame and I’ll be the one suffering.

In writing this post, I’m once again procrastinating on the whole packing deal.  I’ve made the decision to take two suitcases, which I’ve found to be surprisingly empty, even as I do my best to fill them with everything I’ll need to be a professional in uptight business Japan, which means I’m probably forgetting something important.  It’s not money (I’m barely gonna be scraping together enough to survive for the first month there) and certainly not socks.  Maybe it’s something less physical and more… abstract.  I already know the most important thing: No matter how much I prepare myself, I’m going to be caught off guard.  So why worry about packing?  Once I have the big stuff down, what point is there in sweating the details?  I don’t want my last couple of hours in the states to be filled with dread and panic.  I want to savor that thick American smog, get stuck in the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic of the American commute, smell the roses undoubtedly doused with some drunk hobo’s urine.  If the time comes and I’m missing something crucial, so be it.  It’s not like Japan is a distant way station in the middle of the Sahara.  They have stores there too.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading the ramblings of a dude who’s low on sleep and high on impatience.  I promise I’ll try to write a bit more once I’m over there since I’m sure some of you will be curious about what I’m up to amongst the chilly natto-fields of Mito.  If that doesn’t appeal to you, why the hell are you even reading through this blog?

I know the impact of what I’m doing has completely gone over my head but oh well.  I’ll have plenty of time to ruminate on the deeper meaning of my job in Japan during my twelve hour plane flight.  Let’s just get this show on the road.


Something I probably won't be getting in Japan

Something I probably won’t be getting in Japan

P.S.  I should probably check whether or not I’m actually booked on this flight.

P.P.S. If anyone is reading this and has my phone number, just get rid of it.  My sister’s taking over my phone and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want to deal with you guys texting her with your nonsense.

P.P.P.S. Whoever invented the Rice Krispie Treat deserves a Nobel Prize.