Thursday, September 18

Welcome back To America

I woke at 8 am in Tokyo and 10 hours later arrived in Portland Oregon at 8:30 am. Wait a minute, It’s like a bad version of “Groundhog Day” without Bill Murray. I was advised to sleep as much as possible on the plane but that never worked out.

It takes going to another country to remind you how multicultural and diverse we are in this country. On the plane the announcements are in English and Japanese, on the MAX- a light rail, into town, the announcements are in English and Spanish. In town I catch a cab to my friends apartment rather than walk up a steep hill. The cabbie is wearing a blue tooth in his ear and asks if it alright if he talks on the phone. Sure, no problem. He babbles away in Arabic.

At David’s place I discover via a note that I missed catching a ride back to Eugene with him by about an hour. Shit, bad timing strikes again. I take a nap to catch up with sleep.

Taking the bus to the train station, I notice the polyglot of people around me. Short, tall fat and thin whereas the Japanese seem to come in one size fits all. On the train I heard cell phones-which I hate with a passion, going off constantly. Across the aisle a man in a turban fumbles with his, trying to figure out how to answer it. In Japan they use them constantly but discreetly. Not once did I hear one ringing.

I arrive back in Eugene at 9 pm. In one 48 hour day I traveled over 5,000 miles by plane, light rail, taxi, bus and a train- a record even for me. Nothing says welcome home like collapsing into your own bed.

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