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Posted in Japan, Life at 1:27 pm by Acorns

Since it is now only 2 days before I will leave for Japan I thought I should probably get this blog up and running. Hard to believe I’ll be flying there so soon! I’ll be posting here about my Study Abroad trip in Japan as well as misc technical things anime reviews, etc. I’m not sure if WordPress is here to stay or not; it seems to do everything I need done for the moment though. I’ll try and post lots of images, starting right after I arrive in Japan (I should have internet immediately after I get to the dorm I’m staying in).

My flights over will take almost 20 hours all said and done (including layover times). I’m leaving from Waterloo, IA on a CRJ and flying to Minneapolis; we were very lucky in being able to find a flight out so close to where I live at a good price! From Minny I leave on a 320 and fly to Detroit, where my longest layover is. For the overseas flight I will be taking a 744; I hope it is a comfortable plane as I will be on it for 13 and a half hours! Fortunately I am in an aisle seat on all three planes.

The pages describing what you are allowed to carry on and bring with you are starting to resemble law books. Very soon the airports will probably have to hire lawyers dedicated just to explaining to everyone what they are allowed to bring! I’ll be taking a carry on bag containing some clothes and chargers as well as a laptop in a smaller laptop bag. Hopefully no problems will arise! I’m not expecting any problems with my “checked” luggage at least (it’s just clothes).

I’ll be taking several of the electronics I regularly use on the flights, including a laptop (E1505/6400 Core 2 Duo @ 2.0Ghz, 2GB ram, 160GB HDD, ATI X1400), three PDAs (X51V, Jornada 720 and iQue 3600), and my just-arrived-two-days-ago camera (a Kokak Z612). All said and done with the batteries I have I could have two devices turned on for the entire duration of the trip. Now if only they had in-flight internet! I’ve installed apache/php/perl/mysql/curl/gd on Ubuntu so I can spend the flight time working on one of my websites; I’m not sure if I will be able to concentrate enough to get much done, but developing sounds like more fun than sitting there watching movies!

Overall, packing for a four month trip has been much less time-consuming and difficult than I thought it would be. By far the most time was spent on “electronic packing”; getting everything I might want to watch, listen to, or use put on my laptop. I also spent a bit of time looking for maps of Japan for my iQue, the best I found were from http://www011.upp.so-net.ne.jp/mametaro/index-e.html. They don’t show as much detail as I am used to, or have routing capabilities but they are far better than nothing! For the X51V I found a Japanese<->English translator; might come in handy, or might not be worth using. It does have an easily search able list of common phrases.

I was initially worried a bit about using my electronics in Japan as they use different standards than us (100V, 50-60Hz) however it seems that everything I will be taking will work with this just fine. The only thing I won’t be able to use is my cell phone; I’m counting on skype and phone cards for talking with everyone! My apartment will have a phone but it can only take incoming calls, not make outgoing ones.

I might make another post before leaving. If I don’t, then I will try to post by Wednesday (which might still be Tuesday in the states!)

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