short sentences for a tired brain. dinner is available between 6:30 and 9pm, so Im going down soon. My room smells slightly like piss, but I see spider egg nests outside the window, so ventilation is not much of an option. Here's what's been going on:
11:25 PT Delays on United: Losing an upgrade. Barely grasping onto a 7/1 departure.
I'm downing a rather salty tuna sandwich. I really don't like tuna at all, but I was starving, there was nothing else, and it doesn't make me barf. The remaining few bites are resting on the tray table next to me looking less and less appealing. Actually, I may barf. Ugh. UGH! I don't like tuna and neither does the tummy.
Flight 6382 to SFO from Boise was 2 hours delayed but it's only half full, so I have the entire row to myself. I just acquired a tasty diet coke from the attendant and asked about the ANA flight. It's scheduled to depart at 12:10pm and it looks like we're arriving about 12:25pm. This sucks because I was randomly upgraded to business class on ANA. Never had that happen before. As it stands, I'm double booked on a United flight that leaves at 1pm (middle seat! :( ), It's around the corner from the gate where we will be landing, so I won't have to go through security again. While I've lost my first and perhaps last ever business class trans-pacific seat, it looks as tho I might make it to Narita on 7/2 as planned...even with this crazy delay.
I was on the phone with Expedia.com and ANA, and at the counter with the agent. Agent says to call Expedia and Expedia says to contact ANA. Arg. ANA says that can't do anything for me -regarding changing my flight to another carrier- until I'm IN THE AIR. Arg arg. I don't have the luxury of a travel agent, so changing in the air is a bit of a problem. Especially as the Boise SFO flight has no plane-phones. Oi oi oi. I'm sure I was annoying everyone around me as I yelled at this and that person on the keitai, but it can't be helped when the combined IQ of an entire morning's interactions was somewhere under 50.
I'm in the air and hooked up to “US Airways Always Free Wi-fi”. Its free, as claimed, but not Wi-fi-ing. If I can upload later, I will. Otherwise, this and all other fascinating inflight news will be uploaded at the Narita hotel.
1:25 PT – Getting settled
Lucky for me the 1pm is delayed from 1pm to 1:30pm! I got to the gate at 12:58pm after a 12:40pm arrival from Boise. I have some extra leg room and an aisle seat, afterall! Woo! All in all, this is what I expected from a flight. International flights are always nice: more space, neater appearance, movies. It's good. I'm about to be instructed to turn off my lappy. I called Jo and then text-emailed my parents since Dad is hogging the 56k connection and I can't get through on the phone. The twitter is updated. Still no wireless connection. There's one network, here at gate 92, but it's secured. That tuna sandwich isn't sitting well. Should have known. Yucky fish. I'm ready to go.
7:47 Tokyo Time -
There's a lot of Japanese people getting on crowded trains right now. In a few days I will be one of them. But for now, I'm trying to decide when to sleep and when to study. I need to do some reviewing of my survival Japanese skills. I met a nice guy while boarding: Shigeo-san. He offered to help me find a baggage delivery service at Narita. I appreciate it, but since I'm not Japanese, I will have to deal with immigration and all that. While Narita is pretty efficient, it's still more time and in no way do I want to have him wait for me to get through the cattle lines. We'll see. No more procrastinating from me. Benkyo o shimasho!
10:30am Tokyo Time -
It's snacktime aboard the UAL Flight # 853. I've been studying and listening to my Japanese lessons on the Ipod. The kid 2 seats over has been voraciously attacking his video game this entire flight with time to time startling yelps as he jumps out of his seat and yells at his little screen. Im enjoying a broken almond cookie. I think there's 1 almond piece in the whole thing! I still have a delicious baggie of Sun Chips and a tiny twix bar nibble. We are right above that long chain of Alaskan islands, just north in the Bering Sea. I'm officially going to be out of US waters in about another hour. We are due to arrive at 3:30pm- just 5 hours away!. Someone decided to open the window and the bright sunshine seems strange for having been awake for so long. Ah well. Jetlag stage 1: noticing something strange but deciding it won't effect me. Noted: at only 170 mph, this B777 was able to lift off. I seem to remember Jojo saying he drove faster than that in Germany! Hmmm. Physics. Technology. Waving of hands. Metal barrels flying though the sky. Good stuff. Time to break open the Sun Chips. We're getting dinner later soon. The first “lunch” was very American. I wonder if the 2nd meal will be more Japanese in commemoration of relative distance....
1:46pm Tokyo Time -
Just awakened by orange juice. Maybe 2nd lunch is soon? Did I miss it? I took a little nap to pass the time . Now, I know I'm not really supposed to do this, but I sleep fabulously on planes and I needed to kill some time. Now I've got under 2 hours left. When I started this trip, I was absorbed with the flight itself. I wasn't even considering that I was MOVING to Japan. It just didn't really hit me. The minutes are ticking down and I'm really realizing – wow, in about 2 hours (maybe less..we seems to be going almost 600 mph now for some reason) , I won't be in English speaking Kansas anymore! I have indeed been sitting on my ass for 7 hours and 45 minutes. Even Russian cities like Khabarovsk are looming large on the map. Honolulu is now on the far right instead of the midwest US. We are just west of Hokkaido. This will be my last entry until I get to the hotel. When I arrive at the airport, I gotta clear the immigration and customs monkeys, collect bags that hopefully arrived, get them to a baggage delivery service for drop-off at my new digs in the early PM tomorrow, then set off to find Bus stop 16 on the first floor of terminal 1 and hopefully, if im just lucky enough, arrive on the back half of the 30 minute wait between free hotel shuttle buses.