I am right now at Akita Station eating lunch and getting ready for a high school visit. It's my first time here and the air smells and feels different. It was like that in Aomori yesterday, too, where I didn't need the air conditioner. I flew to Aomori Airport from Haneda and that means I left home really early--at 6:15. My visit to Aomori Nishi High School was great especially because I was able to meet with the teachers of both Ayako and Kanako and we had long conversations about their achievements at JIU and their plans for the future. I also spent a lot of time with Kanako's parents who were kind to come to my hotel and also to give me a ride to the school.
A lesson: never take anything for granted. I didn't have a ticket for the express train from Aomori to Akita and therefore decided to go to the station early to get a reserved seat. I was told there were no seats left and I bought a non-reserved seat ticket and decided to line up early. It was hard to find the car that was "non-reserved" because I was thinking about the Wakashio-sen that I always take from Tokyo to Toke. Well, when the train finally came I realized there are only three cars and only one for non-reserved seats. It was a tinny cute train--sorry about the bad photo--and the trip last two and a half hours. I did get a seat.