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September 6, 2007

Back in the United States

Filed under: Uncategorized — espeed @ 9:13 am — Tags:

I meant to write this closer to getting back, but of course I had to deal with all sorts of things upon my arrival.

This will be the last substantive post relating to this Japan visit, although I will add a scattering of new posts to make you all aware of pictures I’ve uploaded to some place on the internet.

I can mostly characterize my trip home as long.  My body really doesn’t like sitting like that for so long.  And while I was able to sleep a decent amount, it wasn’t nearly enough to make the time fly by like I might have wanted.

 Upon arriving in Chicago, I had a fairly painless customs experience.  Of course it’s always easier for nationals returning to their home country so I wasn’t too worried about that.  I remember the line I had to stand in to go through immigrations in Japan and it was probably even worse for foreigners in Chicago; that line was long.  Our customs seem really lax overall though.  When I entered Japan each customs agent was stationed behind a table, which made it appear they could search your bag if they wanted to.

In the United States, there were two guys standing at the beginning of the corridor that lead to domestic connections and they just took people’s declarations.  I didn’t see them search one bag.  Which was good, because I didn’t want them to confiscate my contraband.

 After that it was a simple quick hop to Boston and I could begin my new life of doing nothing but studying.  I think I’m just about over the jet lag, although my body hasn’t quite adjusted to dealing with shortening hours of sleep.

Thinking back, the biggest thing I miss about Japan is its people.  I was discussing this with a friend who came back from Japan recently as well and he thought the extremely politeness was a bit overdone especially in the more mundane areas of life, such as, fast food restaurants.

While there’s certainly some truth to that, over all, when I was walking through the Chicago airport, I couldn’t help but think, “There are so many ass holes here.”  Even in Japan, when I was around a lot of foreigners, I just couldn’t believe how they could act so boorish in a world where their hosts were so accommodating.

My biggest insight from Japan would have to be that there are a lot of Asians there.  More than I’ve ever seen gathered in one place before.  I’m used to being outnumbered but I can imagine how startling it is for a person coming from their own uniform society.  Probably an overall good, solid, character building experience.

In closing, I just want to reiterate that this ends the Japan visit of 07 portion of my blog.  A lot of you cats probably were mostly interested in that, and in that case you’d probably safe stopping by once a week or so in search of pictures.  (If you wanted to you could even bookmark the Japanese category specifically so the page wasn’t cluttered with other stuff.)

As hinted at though, I won’t stop writing in my blog.  It’s a good way of expressing opinions and sharing experience with some small portion of the world.  They probably won’t be interesting to everybody though.  They’ll cover topics such as new technologies, programming languages, the classes I’m taking, random other stuff I do which is interesting, political commentary, commentary on random interesting tidbits I find around the internet, reviews of anime, and probably even descriptions of my work space and how I maintain productivity.

That’s a pretty long list, but I’ll categorize them accordingly and thus you can probably focus on any that you might find interesting.

1 Comment »

  1. Imagine that, an Asian country filled with Asians!! You understand the feeling of being the only person of your heritage alot more than I do,but it does open your eyes to how it feels to be the one, versus the many. I’ve not been able to check this blog out very often, due to lack of time, but I have enjoyed it when I did get a chance to look at it. I remember how much more different Germany was when I visited there, than the cheesy educational films I watched in class made it out to be. It is frustrating to get important information (like directions on how to obtain tickets from an automated kiosk) in a language that is not your first, and you know Japanese a helluva lot better than I knew German. I hoped you got what you wanted out of the trip, especially the stuff you couldn’t have ascertained without taking it. Study hard, and you might be surprised at how many people will check out your brainy MIT blogs.

    Comment by John — September 9, 2007 @ 7:30 am

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