January 7, 2006 – Welcome UPS!

Disclaimer: UPS is a nickname for my friend. This post is in no way associated with United Parcel Service.

After correctly considering the effects of the international date line, my friend UPS was scheduled to arrive in Japan today for a short visit. I took the local train (the cheapest option) from Numazu to Narita airport. The last time I picked up friends or family from the airport, I lived in Kawasaki, which was a lot closer. The trip from Numazu took me almost 4 hours!

I got to the airport early, which was fortunate because UPS’s flight arrived an hour early. This must be an absolute first in aviation history. UPS greeted me at the airport with a case of Moosehead beer! The last time I had Moosehead is when a group of friends visited in 2004 and we drank some very expensive imported Moosehead in Tokyo. Visitors to Japan: drink local beer, it’s way cheaper.

We took the Narita Express from the airport to Tokyo station, the shinkansen from Tokyo to Mishima, and then the Tokaido line from Mishima to Numazu. This trip took only 2 hours, but it seemed faster as UPS and I spent the time catching up on news from home and discussing our plans for his 4 days in Japan. For only a few days, we have a pretty packed agenda! I also learned that it’s pretty much impossible to talk about recent movies with someone from Canada, because most of the big movies come to Japan several months after they are released in North America. I was behind on everything.

We dropped off UPS’s luggage at my apartment, he had a quick shower, and we went out to an izakaya with some of my coworkers. UPS is one of the most outgoing and fun people I know, so he instantly got along with the English teachers. After we got home, we watched some videos that the fraternity guys from Canada recorded for me during their annual Christmas bottle exchange. It’s good to see that nothing changes there.

It’s going to be a fun 4 days!


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