So I'm back in the US of A. What can I say? It was a long trip home. Couldn't get to sleep on the plane despite the luxury of having three seats all to myself. At least the return flight is significantly shorter --- listed at 12 hours 30 minutes compared to 15 hours for the flight to Japan. Immigration and customs were amazingly easy. Our flight was the only one processing so the lines weren't long. And my ride home was only as few minutes from the airport so the time between landing was leaving Newark airport was under an hour. And there was little traffic on the drive home so I was in my own house less than two hours after leaving the airport. Wow!
It's a shock being home though. So much space. So much stuff. Such happy cats. I don't think Maxx has stopped purring since I got here ... except for the times he's brought his boots to me. Millie keeps yapping at me and Lizzie just crawls in my lap and leans against me.
The first shock of being back in the US actually came at the airport. There was the $6.00 charge to rent a luggage cart. In Japan, they are plentiful and free to use. They are designed so they can go up and down escalators ... At least the machine took credit cards cause it wasn't about to accept Japanese Yen.
And everything looks so different here. Houses ... it's not just the space around them. It's the design. Where are the tile roofs? What is all this open land that doesn't have a rice paddy on it? Where are the solar panel farms? The train stations? And speaking of trains ... while I was in Japan, the GPS on my phone was set to route me from place to place by train ... easiest and fastest way to travel in Japan. When I did a map look up for directions out of the Newark airport to get home, it routed me by train. The estimated time it would take to get home that way ... about 5 hours. Switched over to driving directions, it estimated 1 hour 40 minutes.
The biggest shock, of course, is to my body clock. I kept looking at the clock yesterday afternoon, thinking it must be close to 8 or 9 o'clock at night and it was 2 PM, then 2:14, then 2;37 .... So I just kept moving as much as possible. Had to go to the grocery store and discovered that the battery in my Subaru was dead. No problem, I thought. I'd jump it from the Mitsubishi only my jumper cables are in the back well of the Forrester and I haven't figured out how to unlock and open the back door with a key since the electronic locks don't work when the battery is dead. I was in no mood to try to crawl in there from the back seat so I drove the Mitsubishi ... amazing that my 22 year old car is still running.
Talk about things looking different. The grocery store was a different world. The food. The environment. The people! I got the necessary items and came home. At least I would now have something to eat other then the Japanese mochi candy that I bought at the airport.
So at midnight last night I was wide awake. Finally made myself go to bed at about 1. Was awake at 3:15. Up at 5:30 when I remembered I hadn't put out the recycling. Did that and got back in bed. Then, of course, I fell sound asleep until 11 AM this morning. I guess I'm about halfway home ... it will take time for me to readjust ... to all of it.