Not only that, when I landed last night I managed to get myself to my lodging, jet lag and all. I called my apartment manager from the airport and decided to forgo buying a cell phone there (something I'm ruing right now because I haven't been able to find a prepaid cell phone yet). My eyes were so blurry from the contacts being in for the whole flight (you'd better bet I'll be flying home in glasses) that I just wanted to get to my little apartment and settle in.
The apartment itself is ... well, it's not the top notchest of accommodations. I can stay here for a month without a problem, but trust me when I say that if it was longer than that I'd seriously reconsider. However, my room is clean and bright and has a magnificent air conditioner (a must for Tokyo in the summer, let me tell you) and a real wardrobe (even if it's tiny) so that I can actually put my clothes away and not have to live out of my suitcase like I did last summer. And I have a minifridge!
Last night I got in, got slightly settled, discovered only one of my many tubes of girly creams and cleansers had opened (hey, that's a good in my book), took a shower, made sure I had internet, emailed the family, and crashed.
And this morning not only did I get to get up, I got to talk to my darling man and see him in person! This skype stuff is wonderful! Last summer I felt like I was in a dark and dank room trying to chip away at the paint on the windows to see outside (in terms of web access) and this year I feel like I've got a bay window on the web. (sorry, sucky metaphor, but it kind of works)
Not only that, I accomplished 95% of what I set out to do today:
- explored the neighborhood - if you want to check it out here's the google map - basically one of the quieter suburb type places outside of the main center of Tokyo. It has excessively normal things here - a grocery store, a drug store type place, lots of little lunch places that look a little iffy but not too bad, a lovely pastry place in the train station (this is where i got breakfast, and will definitely be returned to), a gym across the street from my actual apartment complex, and .... a Coco's Restaurant! I may have to check that out at some point when I get desperate for breakfast foods.
- explored Ikebukuro (a little) - it's the next major train stop away from my neighborhood and has tons of stuff since it's kind of a huge shopping place as well as a major pass through from other places - kind of like a hub for airplanes, it's a hub for trains.
- found a Hyaku-en store (the Japanese dollar store) and set myself up with some silly little necesseties - clothesline for drying the wash, slip ons to wear in the shower, a little basket to keep my wet shower stuff in, a fan (hey, they come in handy even if it does seem sort of archaic to use them - but it's frikking hot here)
- Met up with my friend Gabriel in the evening to grab some dinner, and have a couple of drinks. Sadly he has to work in the morning and I'm still a little jet lagged, so it really was just two drinks. However, the good part was that one of them was a "vanilla mule" (a variation on a Moscow mule - the Mm is vodka and ginger ale, the Vm is vanilla vodka and ginger ale) at Arty Farty's, the dance club we hung out at so much the last time I was in Tokyo. And the second was at this little bar Gabriel's been going to that was so ultra cool lounge (and yet so relaxed) that it was awesome. Besides, Gabriel and I got to catch up from a year of having not seen each other, and he's just generally fantastic, period.
Anyway, my day started great and ended great, despite the frustration of the phone in between, and I'm going to bed happy. I'm also hoping to get myself out to one of Tokyo's gardens tomorrow to walk around - it's been pretty hot here so it might not be the best time to see it, but supposedly it's actually a bunch of mini gardens who were all planned / inspired around a series of poems. Oh, and Gabriel showed me this fantastic grammar book that he's working through that I really want to get, so perhaps a bookstore visit? We shall see.