Have you ever nearly missed an international flight? I have, as of today. Have you ever misjudged how long a journey would take? Easily done right? I woke up on time. Saying goodbye to Bram sucked, it’s been great to have such a great friend to hang out with in Seoul and I wanna wish him the best of luck! Hopefully we catch up in Indonesia. Regardless of the sadness I got out of the hostel on time. I just didn’t realise the trip from Itaewon to Incheon International Airport takes forever! I arrived just as some snow flakes fell outside, which was lovely, except for the fact I couldn’t enjoy it. I had to run through the airport and find my flight was no longer able to be checked in. At which point a kindly lady realised I was meant to go to Sapporo, took me over to an unused desk and proceeded to check me in. She seemed peeved, but still gave me a fast track pass to have me zip through security. This lead to a bunch of angry sounding Russian flight attendants standing behind me (when don’t they sound angry?) and me getting increasingly fidgety as they muttered behind me.
Have you ever run through an international airport with your jeans falling to your ankles? I have. You see my belt is made of metal…security checks have metal detectors. Needless to say my penguin underwear were appreciated by those angry sounding Russians.
Have you ever needed to get to your flight only to have the ONE GUY in the passport check get held up and interrogated? I have. It had all the other lucky bastards giving me sorrowful looks as they sped past towards their gates. I nearly bowled him over as he was finally redirected to a different area of the airport.
Have you ever got to your gate and boarded a plane 3 minutes before they closed it? I have, and my heart was racing. It wasn’t all bad though, once I was on the plane my luck changed for the better. It turns out Koreans and Japanese people dislike sitting near me SO MUCH that row 14 was entirely empty except for me, myself and I – the rest of the plane was booked. Thanks everyone! Leg room galore.
The view as we came into Sapporo was out of this world. To some of you this will be a shock but I have never in my life seen or touched snow before. Seeing so much of it spread out over the countryside was unbelievable. I had a tough time getting back into Japan though. The guy who checked my passport gave me the full go around for about 4 minutes before letting me go. Not sure why that was the case because I’ve never had an issue. This was followed up moments later by the lady at the customs bag check who wanted my life story. Even the drug sniffing dog came round to say hi, he was adorable – I guess they all are until they start trying to rummage through your shit.
Nevertheless, I arrived safely and unmolested. The subway is a piece of cake in Sapporo, not quite as straight forward as Seoul, but definitely better than the rest of the Japanese cities I’ve been to. Finally, I got to step out into the -6 degree weather and I was…fine? All I had was my T-shirt and a windbreaker and it was lovely, really lovely. I am definitely born to be a winter baby, the heat in Australia is just unfair. I finally got to meet Ash, my host, and girlfriend to my great big ol’ pal Andrew from Australia. It’s been a long time coming and having seen him be so happy for so long now it’s great to put it all into perspective! She’s lovely and adventurous and suits him to a T. I can tell this is going to be some fun times with them.
After Ash showed me around town and after we discovered that every ramen place in town was closed today (just my luck), we picked up cheap supermarket food and ate in. My first impression of snow is that it’s beautiful, and my second impression is I really think I’m gonna pull my groin slipping on the sleet. The amount of times I nearly went base over apex while walking home was insane. So after dinner I decided to go on a wander around the immediate neighbourhood and practice the art of not breaking my butt. This place is spectacular, but I regret to inform you all that the first thing I did is break my butt (See video titled BLOOPER at the end).
The park is lovely, the walk in the dark is chilly but stunning, and watching Japanese people skate about accidentally is hilarious. I even found a centre where futsal was being played but once again in true Japanese fashion when it comes to me they fervently refused to let me come in and watch…kinda getting sick of this.
I’m really quite excited to see what I can discover in town tomorrow !!