This blog is intended to talk about our experiences moving to Japan and living as expats there, but in the past 3+ weeks since we left our home in Atlanta and moved to Tokyo, we have — both my husband and myself — spent quite a bit of time on other international trips, bouncing from time zone to time zone. It has been something of a surreal experience at times… With my body clock turned upside down most of the time, I find myself awake in the middle of the night mulling over all of this stuff. For instance:
- Japan (across the International Date Line) is 14 hours ahead of our Atlanta time zone. Every time we communicate with family back in the US, we have to take that time difference into consideration. But this past week, my husband traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is 12 hours behind Tokyo time, and 2 hours ahead of Atlanta time.
- Yesterday, he flew 14 hours to Frankfurt, Germany for another meeting, and I flew 12 hours from Tokyo to meet him there. Frankfurt is 8 hours behind Tokyo time, and 6 hours ahead of Atlanta time. When he communicates with his company in Tokyo, and his company in Atlanta, he has to consider all three time zones.
- Next week, we travel back to Atlanta to finalize arrangements for our home there, and storage for our car, so we will be back to being 14 hours behind Tokyo time… for a week. Then it is back to Tokyo, and we start all over acclimating to Tokyo time.
- Jet lag affects the body in so many different ways. Disruption of sleep patterns, appetite, digestion… everything. Our days and nights have been flip-flopped over and over with this ridiculous travel schedule. Granted… things will settle down once we get back to Tokyo. This initial month has been unusual. My husband won’t be traveling this much routinely… Thank goodness.
- My flight from Tokyo yesterday tracked east to west over northern Siberia — almost to the arctic circle — and back down over Scandinavia to Germany. Next week we will again fly east to west to get to Atlanta, then finally east to west to get back to Tokyo. At the end of all that, I will have circumnavigated the globe. Lol… cool. Kind of weird to think about flying all the way around the world like that.
- Here in Frankfurt, I am missing the heated seat of the Japanese toilet in our Tokyo apartment. Lol… Crazy how fast I got used to that.
- Our first meal in Frankfurt was at a Sushi restaurant. We ate Japanese food in Germany. Actually… there seem to be a lot of Asian restaurants here. And, there seem to quite a few Asian people here. Frankfurt is a major business and finance center in Europe,and not so much a tourist destination. The hotel restaurant where we had breakfast this morning was about the most international experience I have ever had. So many different cultures and languages all in one place!
- We took the subway into downtown Frankfurt this morning, and actually ate “frankfurters” and German potato salad for lunch (along with some fairly good German beer), and topped off with hot “apfelwein”… the apple wine that Frankfurt is famous for. So… we are still experiencing the local cuisine as well.
- Our hotel here in Frankfurt is sandwiched between the airport and a regional train station — as well as the Frankfurt subway. We see airplanes landing outside our window… and there is a multi-lane highway just below our window. It is surprisingly quiet in our hotel room considering all that activity outside.
Just some random thoughts…