I am in the Beijing airport, again. I'm going back to Canada, and I'm really not sure how I actually feel about it.
Today has not been the best of days- is it ever when travelling? I woke up at 4am. I missed the first train by about 30 seconds (I could hear it leave the station as I stood at the top of the stairs to the platform with my various luggage). I couldn't eat anything until after I checked in and went through security and immigration, so about four hours after I woke up. Ate food that was so not tasty.
I am so sad to say good bye. Japan is home to me, even if it can't be home everyday. So it was with sadness that I watched Tokyo fall away. Really, I said my goodbyes two weeks ago, when I left Kyoto and I-house II.
Anyhow- I'm in Beijing. I've now had Pizza Hut in three countries, and Japan isn't one of them... My flight has been delayed two hours so it's a six hour layover here. And so far, still have a nine and a half layover in Vancouver (for a 25 minute flight- it's ridiculous). When I emailed for the status of my flights this morning, it didn't have information for my flight to Victoria because it could only give information for flights within 24 hours.
I don't want to know how long I'll be travelling for. I just hope I can sleep...
I've arrived, finally, in the Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA). This is airport number three for this trip so far (one more to go). It was such a long trip and I am really not looking forward to the return trip in February.
This airport is huge. It's very open and modern (to be expected since Terminal 3 was built for the Olympics two years ago) and the gates are far apart. Which is not so awesome when my gate is at the end of a wing and I'm exhausted, but at least it is aesthetically pleasing.
We arrived early, around 4:50 am local time rather than about 5:30am. All that meant is more time chilling in an airport, I guess. The desk that said "International Transfers" apparently didn't open until 6:30am, which was a little annoying. There was maybe half a dozen clueless foreigners who didn't know what to do, but we just walked through to security where there was another sign that said "International Transfers". What the difference was, I can only guess. Maybe the closed desk was information for international transfers? Who knows. But BCIA is no exception- there's not a lot to do in an airport during late nights/early mornings.
And the wireless network won't let me get to facebook or twitter, but I can access email and livejournal so I'm amusing myself this way instead...
I don't know when I will have internet at my dorm but it will be after I sleep a billion hours to make up for the lousy sleep on the plane with a toddler screaming for 90% of the flight and two others randomly joining in when they felt like it, I suppose. The flight entertainment and food sucked (to be expected, but it was worse than Air Canada...) and I'm really, really tired and my internal clock has just given up. My laptop says that it's 4:18 pm, and my first flight left Victoria at 9:00pm last night, so it's over 19 hours at this point.
Safe in Beijing and got some more stamps for my passport :)
I'm on my way to Kyoto! My route goes like so: Victoria (YYJ) to Vancouver (YVR), five and a half hour layover, then from Vancouver to Beijing (PEK) (11.5 hours...), then another three hour layover, then finally from Beijing to Osaka (KIX). From the Osaka airport it's another 2.5 hours or so to get to my dorm. So about 28, 29 hours all together... What was I thinking??
And I'm already so tired! がんばります！
Apparently, YVR is proud to present the following thrilling programming on its screens: Connecting British Columbia's Communities To The World
I've seen ads for the following communities so far:
-Fort St John ("The Energetic City", didn't you know?)
Isn't it a little late to be trying to convince people to visit BC if they are already in the international departures terminal???? Oh BC, you make no sense...
So apparently I started my livejournal in April 2003. Holy shit I've had this thing for over seven years. That's a long time for a piece of technology...
Now that it's summer and I'm not in school I've been reading a lot more. Mostly, I suddenly had the desire to re-read all of Tamora Pierce's books, as well as the books she has published since I stopped reading her work. I don't care if they're meant for teenagers; I started reading them a lot younger than that so I can read them as an adult too! Granted, each takes only a couple of hours maybe to read, but it's comforting to read a well-loved book, age appropriate or not.
I'm also plowing through my over-burdened shelf of books I have started reading and never finished. My goal for the end of the summer (ie before I move and don't have my beautiful beautiful books at arms reach whenever I want to read them) is to read/finishing reading or re-reading at least eight of the following books:
-Liar's Poker (Michael Lewis)
-To Hellholes and Back (Chuck Thompson)
-Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies (June Casagrande)
-The Stuff of Thought (Steven Pinker)
-The Omnivore's Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
-A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (Jaed Coffin)
-Soccernomics (Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski) (OK this one doesn't count I'm only a chapter away from finishing)
-The Ascent of Money (Niall Ferguson)
-Perfect Figures (Bunny Crumpacker)
-Honeymoon with my Brother (Franz Wisner)
-The Second World (Parag Khana)
-What the Dog Saw (Malcolm Gladwell)
-The Language Instinct (Steven Pinker)
-Burmese Lessons (Karen Connelly)
-Spoken Here (Mark Abley)
-The Cloudspotter's Guide (Gavin Pretor-Pinney)
-The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
-A Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Jules Verne)
-Korea (Simon Winchester)
I think I will finish the first three for sure, and do my best for the rest.
I also recently finished a very interesting book, "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis (the author of Liar's Poker). It tells the story of what happened in the US leading up to the financial meltdown. It's an absolutely fascinating read, and you don't need to have a background in Wall Street or finance at all. It's so absurd how things happened, and I felt while reading it that if I didn't know very well what the ending was it would read like a fictional story too strange to ever actually happen. How is it that the people selling these financial instruments didn't know how they worked? Because they and almost no one else could tell how they worked or trace what the actual underlying physical assets associated with any individual security were, no one knew the real risk. Not even the institutions that were creating them, because they kept them on their books. This is a fascinating read, even if there is the cloud of what you know is coming hanging over the tale as you wait for the other shoe to drop. Everyone should read this book! There is so much in it that is interesting, and a lot of facts and trivia that will come in handy.
So it's been over two years since I posted here... I can't really say why I stopped, except that like most of my friends I started using other social media websites.
Also, I'm not very good at being social/pretending to be social online.
BUT I will be going on exchange again, to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, as one last hurrah in my degree before I graduate.
My goal is to be more diligent about keeping some sort of record of my upcoming exchange than I was the last time I went to Japan.
I haven't decided if I will use my livejournal, or my neglected blogger account
. I don't know if I want to stay here for convenience and because I actually have friends on lj, or to start anew for a new adventure.
Thoughts, anyone? Anyone still around?
Day three in Osaka!!!
Tuesday I took the shinkansen down here from Nagoya, no problems with the JR Pass, which is good considering how much it cost... It's just so freaking convenient to be able to hop on any JR train and go wherever the fuck I want...
That kind of freedom is just so attractive.
I think this has sealed my fate. I was born to travel.
Like today. Got up around 11(not hungover- yes!) headed out around noon. I eventually made it to Kobe (which was more or less devasted after an earthquake in 1995(?)), where I wandered around Chinatown and the port area, and got lost trying to find a museum that I eventually saw out the train window. At that time I was tired and didn't feel like getting off the train. Aha.
Yesterday I dumped my pack at Osaka station(big mistake- I later spent 45 minutes trying to figure out which lockers I put it in...) and went to the "Kaiyukan", the Osaka aquarium. I'd never been to an aquarium before, so I was actually quite excited about it.
I also went to some history museum, but that was a bnit of a letdown because there was so little English, and it's just plain hard to try and understand that Japanese. But the models and relics were really fascinating, especially the models of old villages and palaces.
I went to Tsuruhashi to check out the Korean shops, but I forgot that most non-mall shops close at like 5, and I got there a touch late. Last night eight of us at the hostel went out for dinner, and I ended up crashing at about 4 am. Hostels are great for meeting other travellers, especially when travelling alone. It's kinda nice... Though it is odd to be surrounded by foreigners in Japan; I've spent so long with Japanese people I guess. Though it's a shock to speak English again after Japanese- it was actually starting to come back...
Next is Fukuoka with Marnie!!!! Yay!!
...note to self: DO LAUNDRY!!!!!!
I saw the Death Note movie yesterday with my friend Mao.
I've been waiting for this movie to come out for a while- pretty much as soon as I knew there was going to be one. I've only read the first six or so volumes, because that was as many as had come out by the time I went home. BUT.
I was a little wary of L, because in photos his actor just didn't seem enough like him (and because he's my favourite character). But I was quite quite pleasantly surprised. L was properly weird and constantly eating sweets. Watari was exactly the gentleman he is the comic.
Light... I don't know what I think. He is, believe it or not, more twisted that he comes off as in the comic. Somehow. (See spoilers...)
And Shiori has a big part, she was around from the very beginning, but I can't remember off the top of my head how involved she was in the comic. Hmm, it's been a while since I've read it. Anyway, she has a bigger role and I was confused.
Raye=Penbar's name got changed, his fiancee was just creepy (though she did wear that all-leather outfit...), Light's father was also pretty in character, and Matsuda. Matsuda Matsuda, Matsudaaaaaa!
Aoyama Sooooouta. Just... perfect. The first glimpse of him is of him just sitting quietly in his chair as Yagami senior talks about Kira, but his first line involves him jumping up and being loud and obvious. I giggled at this point, even though the theatre was absolutely quiet. Oops. And and and there was standing around, lecture mode, with notebook in hand very much Inui-like going on. I just about cracked up. Exact same pose. I kept expecting him to push his glases up his nose at anytime.
He was regularily doing such things, and even though he isn't a main character, he's still my favourite character. He always looks like he wants to say something, that sort of expectant and somewhat jumpy look. Seeing "Aoyama Souta" about sixth on the cast list was probably much more exciting than it should have been, but Death Note is a major movie. So good for you, Aoyama!!!!!
Cue to ( SPOILERSCollapse )