Feeling lost on your first day in a new country
Have you ever felt homeless on your first day in your dream country?
11th of September, the day when my dream finally came true. I am standing in front of the airport surrounded by my relatives and close friends who came to say good-bye. On that day my life changed upside down, I was about to start a new journey called "a student life in Japan".
But, first, we (me and two of my friends) had to face a-7-hour-long layover in Incheon airport before the flight to Fukuoka. During the layover, we spent most of the time sleeping, taking a free shower and waiting for our long-awaited flight.
Beginning of everything
However, the real journey started when we landed in Fukuoka late evening. It was 12th of September, but the arrival assistance support of the university would only come the next morning to pick us up to the dormitory.
It meant we had to overnight at Fukuoka, and I knew beforehand that it wasn't possible to overnight at the airport because it is always closed for the night. Therefore, I have booked the hostel near the Ishigaki-higashi subway station, for which the check-in ended at 10 p.m.
Accordingly, I rushed the companions to hurry up and it seemed that we were just right on time for the check-in, however, here was the next challenge: to actually find the building where we were supposed to stay. As it was late night, and the first hours of our new life in Japan, all of us were naturally in shock, because we weren't able to find the building with the hostel's name.
Simply imagine how three youngsters-foreigners are mingling around the same place in search of the desired place for about half an hour without any smell of success. In fact, it was one of the most stressful moments that I have ever faced in my life. New country, new environment, new people, new language, and homeless you. I doubt if I ever can describe the feelings I had inside that moment, but wait... the challenges were only coming.
After the ceaseless attempts I finally found the building but, apparently, it was too late. Nobody responded to our screams asking for the check-in, so we were left in the street with a few ideas on how to solve the problem. Having brainstormed our next steps, we decided to type "hotels nearby" on Google Maps and visit all of them until we find the one which suits our budget.
But, welcome to Japan, and this is the beginning of our new challenge. We found a hostel after the couple of minutes of walk and we thought it was a moment the luck has finally come to us, but as you may guess, the receptionist said he couldn't allow us to stay because we didn't book the beds beforehand.
And here is the discovery about Japan. If you want to travel to this country, you are recommended to book a hotel in advance because most of hotels will not allow you to check-in without a booking, and we weren't an exception.
Moving forward, we finally reached Hakata station, which is the center of Fukuoka, with hopes of finding any kind of shelter to overnight, but there was nothing but failure. And at the last moment, when we almost gave up, the solution came from nowhere.
Our companion entered a hotel just near the station and asked the receptionist whether there is a room or could we simply overnight inside the lobby of the hotel. And Bingo! the receptionist was so nice to let us stay there until 6 a.m. Then, we had to go back to the airport and finally met by the university staff.
What can be inferred from this story? You never know what will happen to you in the near future, no matter how prepared you are, and how properly things are planned. Surprises might come from anywhere, so you have to be mentally strong to not give up when things are going crazy and you are left with all that mess alone. On the contrary, I'd love you to believe that miracles are real to those who never give up.
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