This is my first picture in Japan. Do you see those black boxes above the seats? They are the reason I took the picture. Let me set the scene: I had just arrived in Japan an hour before and was riding the Narita Airport Express Train to Tokyo. I had an assigned seat but decided to sit behind it because someones luggage was placed in front of my assigned chair. Both seats were open behind where I was supposed to sit so sat down and began to stare out the window, enjoying my first views of Japan. Well, about two minutes went by before a train worker walked into the train holding a fancy gadget in his hand. The gadget apparently had received a signal that someone was sitting in a reserved seat who shouldn't have been. The worker came to check my ticket and potentially charge me more money for not sitting in the unreserved car. I showed the train worker my ticket and all was okay.
So why am I writing this as my first blog about Japan? Because, well, Japan is soooo much more advanced than Vietnam. I knew this coming in but BAM it struck me right away with everything. In Vietnam, two weeks ago, I snuck into a train compartment we weren't supposed to be in. After getting caught -- by chance since Huyen's sister asked the guy a question! -- we just had to give the guy a couple dollars and he let us stay. Such is clearly not the case in Japan.
This is going to be an interesting three months!