In other news, my holiday back home in England was wonderful although I wound up being sick for most of it. I caught a cold on the second day which I'd mostly gotten over halfway through the holiday when I caught what I feel justified in calling the flu which I've never had before. I'm not one of those people who exaggerates a headache as a migraine or a splinter as a gaping wound so you can trust me here. I was rather ill. Particularly when I flew back to Japan. I though my eardrums were going to explode when we landed for the chang-over in Paris. Because of the sinus congestion my ears popped continuously because I couldn't swallow with a blocked nose without popping my ears and usually swallowing is how I deal with ear-poppage due to landing landing. I was beside myself it was so frightening. I seriouly thought I could feel my eardrums tearing. *Shudder*
Paris airport was covered in snow so many flights had been delayed which meant a huge queue at the Air France desk where I needed to get my new boarding pass. My previous plane had been an hour late which left me an hour to get my boarding pass but after waiting in the queue for half an hour during which time no-one moved forward (honestly) I started to panis and moved to the staff exit beside the desk area hoping to catch someone. Ten minutes later the board (which said my flight was on time) flashed to say my flight was boarding. I'd already seen a fight errupt in the queue when someone tried to push in so I ran to the security entrance to the departure gates and spoke to the guard there. He told me to queue, I told him if I queued I'd miss my flight, he told me 'Not my problem' which is pretty much why I hate the fucking French and I don't care who flames me 'cause they can fuck off too. I went back to the queue for another ten minutes when the board suddenly said my flight was departing at which point I started crying because I'd already been travellling for 9 hours including the train from Plymouth and the 4 hours I would up waiting at Bristol airport, plus the thing with my ears had left me unable to hear in one ear and my voice was going. In the end I did push in front of a woman who had been being seen to since I joined the queue in the very first place (50 minutes ago) . I apologised to the lady I'd pushed in front of and basically bawled my story (in English) to the guy behind the desk. I don't know how much he understood but he took the piece of paper I had detailing my flight and started typing frantically then tried phoning someone, then disappeared for over five minutes when no-one answered. It was the longest five minutes of my life. Obviously I wanted to get the travelling over with but add to that the fact I was ill, wanted to see my boyfriend at last in Japan, and was supposed to be checking into a hotel soon after arriving, I was beside myself. Plus there was no way I could afford a new ticket even if the airline might later refund me. I didn't even have temporary money.
Eventually the man came back and started calling for other passengers going to Nagoya, of which there were none. He escorted me back to the same asshole guard and I was scanned through. When I got to my gate I found that there were still plenty of people left to board. When I boarded I had to tell the person checking me in to key in the number on my pass because otherwise my bags would not be loaded on the plane. I asked how I would know for sure they made it on at this late hour and the man said I wouldn't know until I arrived in Japan which I accepted at the time, then found the first Japanese person I could on the flight and asked them about it. Since the Japanese are, unlike th French, all about customer service, the air hostess found a member of the ground crew who then located my bags and confirmed they'd made it onboard. I then settled in for the most uncomfortable flight of my life with everyone around me pretty much treating me like a leper and donning face masks. I was soooo glad when we landed, and with much less ear-poppage too.
I had what seemed like an endless train ride to the hotel in Nagoya city during which time I had to sit on the floor because I thought I was going to pass out. I had thought about getting a taxi (which would have cost about the equivalent of 60 quid) but in the end it wasn't the exorbitant amount of money that stopped me, but the fact I found the train before I found the taxi rank. Otherwise I would have handed that money over and considered it well spent - and that coming from someone who usually balks at paying a fiver when walking is free!
Anyway, I got to the hotel, checked in, had a bath, spoke to Alex during his stopover in Tokyo (he arrived back from Boston on the same day as me but 7 hours later), then I had a short nap. I was already feeling much more human and my excitement carried me through the reunion with Alex in good form before I started feeling crap again around midnight. Now, almost two weeks after my return, I think it's fair to say my flu has subsided to a terrible cold. I no longer have the terrible body aches or headaches or earraches, for which I'm very grateful. I did have to take the first 4 days off school though. I missed the Friday, went for two lessons on the Monday morning, then went home and stayed there until Thursday. Now I just can't seem to shift the cold.
However, I do feel very happy to be back wrapping up my time in Okazaki and able to see Alex again whenever I want to. Our new apartment in Gifu is signed and sealed, Alex is sorting the gas, water and electric today, then we'll be shopping for appliances which will be fun. I'm also starting to look for a job although I need to figure out how to do a Japanese CV first. At least I now have a mobile phone which is pretty vital to the process.
And that's pretty much it. I made a mean spagetti bolognese the other day, the leftovers of which are currently reheating. During the peak of my illness there was a five-day period where I ate about 5 mouthfuls in total so I lost any weight I might have gained over Christmas plus a little extra but now I'm eating almost normally again. Hurrah!