Hey, I made it in one piece.
The flight was not as turbulent as I expected, and JAL food seems to get better and better - fresh fruit for dessert and no more cold soba, thank God. And thanks to the new in-seat monitors, there were in flight movies from Manila to Tokyo (before only NHK was showing) and Confessions of a Shopaholic was on. Oh, and re-entrants get their own line in immigration so the whole thing was super fast.
My one single inconvenience was the "detailed" customs inspection, which they seem to be doing on everyone. Thank goodness my mom did the packing for me. If I did everything myself the suitcase would have exploded when I opened it and there is no way I can put everything back inside after. So the customs officer opens my (neatly-packed) suitcase, takes one look at the many many things inside, and he sighs heavily. He didn't (and couldn't possible) check every single thing, so he relegated himself to just inspect a couple of random stuff - Boy Bawang packets, a can of crab fat, and a bottle of Aveeno lotion. He did see my underwear, though, because he opened every single compartment and garment bag. So as a corollary to the always wear nice undies rule, bring nice undies too.
When I got to the Limousine Bus counter, I was informed the next bus was leaving in three minutes but since the gate was right outside I decided to get that and I had to rush outside but I made it with time to spare. Now after the Limousine Bus the real adventure begins - trains and transfers with three pieces of luggage all by myself. Let's just say it's something you wish you'd never have to do ever again. Ever. I did find all the elevators just fine, and I was able to get a sit on the train from Shinjuku to Bubaigawara. But when I transferred to Nambu line (from Bubaigawara to Inaginaganuma), there were no more seats, which was fine since it would only be for like 5 minutes. However, people started pouring in when we reached Fuchu-hommachi station, so I had a bit of a difficulty getting out.
Last hurdle - schlepping 26.5 kilograms of random stuff up two flights of stairs (14 steps each). Luckily Tony found me halfway through the second flight and saved me from fainting (or throwing a tantrum).
So now I'm a bit settled. Well not really since all the stuff is scattered everywhere, but I've had a good nap and it's feeling less foreign and more homey.
I'm a bit homesick though. At this time everyone back at home would be in the new bedroom (they merged two rooms to form one huge area with two beds and a couch and God knows what else) and we'd all be playing some form of computer game - be it in one of the two laptops, or one of the two *ehem* DS Lites (the third one was for a cousin), or the PSP, or my iPhone. This includes my mom, btw. Ever since she discovered Cooking Mama on my iPhone I've never been able to pry it off her hands. She'd return it to me with the battery empty and "oh, someone texted you..." so my apologies if I was unable to reply to text messages (and missed calls even) when I was in the Philippines. I do think it's pretty cool that my mom has learned how to play video games, because now she can relate to the addiction; before she can never really understand how we can spend hours staring at the computer screen, now she is the only person I know who has actually finished Zuma up to the very last stage.
Anyways, I'm beat. Tomorrow I fix everything up (that includes myself). And maybe post pictures of my shoes (quick story: the customs officer opened my Charles and Keith shoe box sitting atop a sea of Boy Bawang to find a billion things tucked with my shoes - packets of Joy dishwashing liquid, Dove soap, hand sanitizers, etc). And maybe do a teeny tiny bit of shopping? ^^
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