I don't exactly know how to start this post. Yes, I'm in Japan. Is it great? Indeed. But I must temper my joy with some sad news.
Bobbie, my travelling companion and compatriot, got a call from her mother while we were at Logan that her grandmother was having chest pains and was en route to the hospital. While she was not at peak health, she certainly didn't appear to be declining and so when we got to Minneapolis neither of us expected to hear that she had passed on shortly after that call.
On such an exciting and happy departure, it was surreal to suddenly know that a person you had seen two days prior was no longer among us. I queried with the airline what would happen if we had to suddenly cancel, and the replies were not good (basically, we would lose our tickets and reservations, no refunds). I discussed with Bobbie that the next course of action was completely up to her and I would stand behind whatever she wanted. Bobbie replied that Grammie would not want us to be wasteful and not to stop having a good time on her account. We decided that the best way to honor Grammie's memory would be to continue on, but now the focus of the trip has changed. Our journey here has become a pillgrimage and our itinerary will be including many more temples and shrines for us to give prayer and offerings to Grammie's spirit.
We ended up staying in a hotel in Osaka for the night, we were so exhausted. Here is a video of my room.
The other highlight of the hotel was the 24 hour convienience store inside the hotel where we picked up all manner of goodies. We finally passed out around 2 am.
My japanese immersion is progressing nicely and much faster than I thought it would. I'm learning.
More to come!