Yesterday I arrived in Narita airport after 2 days without sleep-- well past the point where the walls were bleeding and the floor felt kind of spongy. I was too excited (read: anxious) the night before I left, and no matter what I just can't sleep on planes. So that was that.
The school had us all meet together at the airport. It was a bunch of undergrads, some folks from the school, and me. I became acutely aware of how much older I am than most of my classmates instantly, particularly because they don't get any of my pop culture references-- even the relatively recent ones. (Does nobody watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend? Never mind. I'm ready to be that person who says, "YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE WIRE?!")
It's an interesting mix of people who chose to come here to learn Japanese. I figure all of us have watched our fair share of anime, but there's a very interesting range of backgrounds among the students. One of my classmates is looking into a career in academia in Linguistics. Another is double-majoring in East Asian Languages and Education, with the intention to teach elementary school. I saw one legit (trust fund) gutter punk but have yet to talk to him.
When I arrived at the dorms yesterday, the wifi in my first room did not work. The dorm manager moved me down the hall to a different room, one that's kind of a funky J-shape at the corner of the building. The manager kept on apologizing for how much smaller it was (it isn't), but I told her that I was actually happier in this room because it had two big windows instead of one. I'm all about that natural light.
Today two classmates and I went to a local mall to shop for some necessities: pots, pants, towels, and the like. It was SUPER overwhelming. The shops weren't really separated and it looked almost like everything was one big department store. (I was super into the Mexico-themed shop and if I can I am totally buying some Virgen de Guadalupe flags for my dorm room.)
Frankly, I find everything overwhelming here. When I encounter a different culture I completely forget how to do normal things because I'm self-conscious about doing the *right* things: not standing in the way, not doing something rude inadvertently, and so on.
Tomorrow we all head in to Shinjuku to take our placement tests. I should study my kana and so on beforehand... but then again I could also start my rewatch of The Wire.