On January 11th, 2017, I took a flight bound to Fukuoka via Philippine Airlines. My parents and I were at the airport as early as 4am. It was an opportunity for my parents to meet the people from the agency who were behind our employment. Should there be any concerns in the future, at least my parents know who to reach out to. My father earlier since he still has something else to do.
Papa: Oh sya, aalis na ko. (Biglang tumalikod)
Me: Pa naman eh. Payakap muna.
Which he did. That was the first time I hugged him again after a very long time. The closest physical contact we ever had before that were the usual "pagmamano" or me putting my arms on his shoulders. I will always cherish that hug. The warmth and comfort it brought, I will always remember.
Mama and I waited for my other two sisters to arrive. I was also happy that my Tito and Tita woke up very early in the morning just to bid me goodbye as well.
My fellow teachers were a bit shocked that there were so many people who sent me off. I just joked that they were just happy to see me leave and can't wait. LOL.
My kuya didn't come to the airport anymore but we dined out the night before my flight. My other younger brother also didn't go. I just kissed him and woke him up real quick before I left. He then messaged me on Skype to say sorry and that he had to sleep because he had an interview that morning. I told him, it's okay. I was just being the melodramatic sister that I am.
Last December 2015, I took a flight bound for Legazpi and I remember posting about it on Instagram and that I hoped that my next flight will be an international one. And it happened. I never had any flight projects in 2016 nor any local flights for holidays back then. The flight after that was this one bound for Miyazaki. I can't thank the Lord enough for everything. Really.
Though, my arrival to Fukuoka Airport was a quite an event to remember.
I have a connecting flight bound to Miyazaki just an hour after my arrival in Fukuoka. As per the Welcome Kit, after the clearing in the Immigration section, I am to take a bus bound to the Domestic Airport, that would take more or less 8-15 minutes, enough for me to get into the check in counter and get on another bus that will take us to the plane on the runway. Flight will take 35 minutes and somebody from the Miyazaki branch will pick me up at the airport. Bring me to my house and then take me to the office to be welcomed by everyone.
That was how it was supposed to be.
But then, at the immigration, we were asked to take a seat at the corner where there is a table an a long chair. Apparently, there is a discrepancy with what appears on our Certificate of Eligibility and the visa stamped on our passport. The five of us were all held and asked to proceed to that little corner in the immigration section.
Just imagine how scared I was.
I told the immigration officer that I have a connecting flight in an hour. She then just made a few phone calls, asked for our passport and COE then returned to her office to make more phone calls.
After 30 minutes or so, she returned with our passports and our printed residence cards. A moment of relief for all of us. We took our exit and the airport staff were kind enough to sort out our baggage from the conveyors.
I missed the flight and had to wait for another 3 hours for the next flight. I was so tired. I didn't even bother to stand up where I was seated until the announcement for my flight. I am also scared just because I can't understand almost everything around me. I can barely read and understand a thing. The almost three hours of waiting would have been a good time to go around. But I didn't do that.
I felt so tired. I felt under-dressed when I saw the other passengers who were waiting. I was wearing just one-layered coat but I do have my leather gloves and bonnet with me.
I arrived at the Miyazaki Airport around 8:30pm, 3 hours past the expected 5pm arrival. Then, another 20 minutes to drop off my stuff at my new home, get my keys and the souvenirs. My new boss then took me to the office where everyone was waiting. It was very late yet they still waited for me. My Filipina colleague and I walked home together. The first of the many afterwork walks and cyclings that will happen.
I was so tired that night yet I didn't sleep well. I was thinking of all the mess and all the scattered stuff on the floor and what to wear the next day.
1.11.2017, I will never forget.
Aside from my father's assignment for me, that is to find our ancestors from here, I look forward to an amazing Japan experience. My heart is always full of gratefulness to each and everyone.