After an almost 5 hour bus drive, 12 hour flight, which incidentally took off 1 hour late, it was Tokyo all over again. I can't believe that this is the third time I go half-way around the world to come here in approximately a year. With the pangs of nostalgia I had really mixed feelings... was I happy to be here, or maybe it wasn't a good idea to come and remember things better forgotten? Even until this day I feel so alienated in place so different from home. The only solace I got was with one Egyptian medical doctor coming for a conference here and was with me on the entire journey from Alexandria. Later, at the Cairo Airport, I met a fellow YES attendee, so I guess that makes us 2 representing Egypt. When she asked me if I had come to Japan before, I said this would be my third time. When she asked me why Japan, and so often, I couldn't find a reply except for "it seems somehow Japan is intertwined my fate".
As if the bus ride between Alex and Cairo wasn't enough, I had to take another bus from Narita (Tokyo) Airport to Shinagawa to meet my good friend, Okapi, whom I am staying with for 2 days before the course starts. That's another ~2 hours, making my trip a grand total of almost 20 hours straight. It was great to see Okapi again, and we took a brief car ride to his apartment complex only for him to surprise me with generosity that even us as Arabs would find it difficult to compete with. He had booked a guest suite on the 25th floor for me to stay in during the 2 days before I relocate to my campus dorm. It had an amazing view of the city skyline and even with Tokyo Tower lighting up the horizon. I put my stuff away and had a very relaxing bath in the jacuzzi in my ample bathroom.
Just 1 hour after I arrived, at around 6 pm, we headed down to the 2nd floor where he had also reserved a party room where all the JPYs (Japanese Participating Youth) from SWY (Ship for World Youth) were all gathering to meet up and share supper together. I was nice to see so many faces there, and up to 15 people came in total. We did a lot of catching up and just laid back and relaxed.
We were up until around midnight, when everyone started to leave, and even I as I write this am super duper tired. Hopefully I can write more tomorrow isA, after a good night's rest. Even though tomorrow is supposed to be very busy as well, with shopping and sight seeing scheduled, I'm sure it won't be as tiring as the last 24 hours I had just been through.