Home at last. After two weeks of travel and exploration I've stumbled home; a bit on the tired side from jetlag and preparing for "normal" to resume.
I really really enjoyed Japan. We visited Tokyo and Osaka and both were exciting, vibrant and full of contrasts.
I got used to being spoken to all the time in a language I don't understand. I made a real effort to learn some basic Japanese before we left, which was vital to us eating on a couple of occasions, but most of the time I didn't understand a word. Unlike other languages which you can pare down to key words (e.g. "You want bag?" or "Tray wait here"), the people we met usually stuck to their usual phrases which they merrily repeated. When these needed a response from me, then mime or switching to English often occurred. The result was me smiling blankly until they had finished talking. In any other place I've visited I think I would panic at facing not knowing what was being said so much.
What I'm most enjoying about being home:
- real tea! I've entirely given up on finding a decent cuppa abroad so have enjoyed my first couple of cups
- not having to walk so far in underground stations. In all seriousness we once found ourselfs walking 850m from out platform to the correct station exit. There were stairs, escalators, walking along another platform, etc all with suitcases!
So far I'm missing:
- shop assistants/train staff/etc all bowing at me
- chopsticks. I was actually slightly miffed that they have me noodles with a fork on the plane!
- saying "hai" (yes/I agree/that's everything/I'm content) all the time.
- being away! I love travelling and visiting new places! ✈️