Today I arrived in Tokyo, Japan for the second time. I took a NW airlines flight from Shanghai, where I had been living for the summer- the flight was less than three hours and very routine. I had the seat directly next to the emergency door. The two businessmen sitting next to me were from the southern part of the United States- they were really nice (they were engineers, doing a trip in asia in order to do research on production facilities). I also talked to the stewardess a lot. She, and apparently all the staff on the flight, was from Beijing- as are all Northwestern flight attendants on flights from China, as I discovered. The plane was very crowded, with basically all seats being filled with Chinese, a few Japanese and Americans.

Upon my arrival in Tokyo, I took the Narita express to Shinjuku station. It was here that I recieved my first shock- 3600 yen!(US $36) Japan is a lot more expensive than I had expected, or to put it better, I am still not accustomed to paying lots of money for things. After arriving in Shinjuku, I waited in the crowds at the south exit for my friend to come and meet me. Shinjuku is a horrible place to meet people, particularly when you have not been there before and are exhausted from carrying luggage. After arriving at my friend's apartment in Kunitachi, I met my friend's brother, her friends from Waseda, and also met her ex-boyfriend for the second time. Her ex-boyfriend is one of the people that I have met that I really want to emulate in life. He speaks Shanghainese, mandarin, Japanese and English incredibly fluently- he was back in Japan to visit, because he had been working in Manhattan at the time of the World Trade Center bombing. He said that he couldn't go back to NYC because he still remembered too much of what he had seen when the buildings went down.

At dinner, we drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of takoyaki, after which I fell asleep.