Now that spring break is in session, my friend from the Netherlands has decided to come visit me. It’s my first time seeing her again in ten years, so I was excited to finally have some good news and something to look forward to.
Since this is her first time abroad in a foreign country alone, I decided to go to the airport to pick her up. Unfortunately, I got lost myself, so I was about 20 minutes late, but she didn’t seem to mind. After I picked her up, we went home to drop off her luggage and to decide on what to do next. We had a ton of options, considering I planned her trip in Japan very carefully.
Here was how the week she was going to stay in Japan (basically) looked like: [condensed version]
Day 1: Pick up my friend, go to Shibuya, help my friend submit a payment for the tattoo she wanted to get here, get Ichiran Ramen, and explore the bustling city.
Day 2: Show her around my school and my favorite go-to eat spots, head to Shin-Okubo for street food and shopping for Korean skin-care and K-Pop merchandise.
Day 3: Head to Ikebukuro, spend a day at Sunshine City and do things that it has to offer, go to an AYCE hot pot place, and grab KOI milk tea.
Day 4: Go sight-seeing at Kamakura
Day 5: Go to Shinjuku to go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and to explore
Day 6: Go to Kawagoe for the Edo-styled streets and street food.
Day 7: Go to Yokohama for the Cosmo World Ferris Wheel, China Town, Ramen Museum, etc.
Day 8: Go with her to Harajuku and Shibuya where she can go shopping, go to an owl cafe, and get her tattoo done.
Day 9: Bring her back to Narita airport for her flight home.
All in all, it sounded like a very solid plan. However, when we arrived at my place, my friend told me she was feeling unwell, so she decided to go to bed early and apologized if that hindered any plans. I told her not to worry about it, but in the end, we had to push back plans and change them. She ended up sleeping for the whole day – not that it was a problem. I should have expected she would be super jet lagged. What I didn’t expect though was how she ended up sleeping in for three days straight.
She would occasionally get up to use the restroom or to talk to me, but most of the time, she went back to sleep. It got even more concerning when I noticed that she couldn’t bring herself to eat anything for three days straight. She was feeling fatigue and nausea.
I was scared she had caught something on the plane or the airport, but she assured me it was just jet lag.
Worried that her trip would end up being too boring for her, I suggested we play games on the fourth day, hoping she felt better so we could at least make it to some of our day trips. We were able to play games, but she decided to turn in early after a bit. Luckily though, she told me she was gradually feeling better and was slowly adjusting to Japan’s time.
For the next few days, she gradually got better. We couldn’t go on our day trips, but she went out and I was able to take her to the places in Tokyo that she wanted to go to the most. She was most excited about Shin-Okubo because she was big on Asian skin-care. She also was able to get her tattoo done before she safely left for home on the 15th.
From this crazy week of always re-arranging plans and constantly worrying about my friend’s well-being, I’d say that being adaptable might be one of the most beneficial traits to have.
Always remember to be adaptable because life will always give you lemons, and it’s your job to make lemonade with them!