Monday, February 23, 2009

Tidbits from the journey

Written at the Narita airport in Japan
  • The flight attendants on the 14-hour flight from Chicago to Japan were super. Hats off to the United crew.
  • I was in the back of the bus, with 3 seats open next to me, so I could at least stretch out. May have slept for an hour on the 14-hour flight, but feel fairly rested.
  • Thanks to headwinds, it was a bumpy flight, and an hour longer than scheduled. But we had good meals – lunch when we took off at noon, then instant noodles somewhere over the North Pole, and noodles again for dinner. Asian flights are the only ones I know of where you get instant noodles as snacks. ☺
  • If I hadn’t eaten enough on the plane, I would’ve been really tempted to have some Sushi at the sushi restaurant close to my gate…
  • I learned 2 new Japanese words during landing announcements: hedo-resto& futo-resto. You figure out what they mean…
  • Since I sat in the center section, I didn’t get to see Mt Fuji during the half-hour holding pattern when we were flying in circles along the coast, but it was visible in the distance.
  • The flight to Taipei has been delayed by more than an hour. I don’t have a way to let my hosts know. Bummer.
  • Tonight, I’m staying at friends’ house in Taipei. It will most likely be after midnight when I arrive at their place. Oops.
  • I haven’t heard any Oscars news. Just saw signs about Slum Dog Millionaire, and the television screens at my gate keep showing footage about some Japanese movies that I assume won Best Foreign Film and Best Animation?
  • I found it rather comical that the drink of choice of the perhaps-70-year-old lady sitting across the isle from me was beer.
  • There were a number of people on the flight wearing facemasks. Welcome to Asia, where those with colds spare others the joy of sharing their germs in enclosed spaces.
  • Tomorrow, I am moving to a classmate’s apartment in downtown Taipei. She’s out of town for 2 weeks for class, during which time I am blessed to use her place while looking for a job and a place to stay.
  • I wonder what the season ahead holds…
Written in Taipei, at Rod & Amy's place
  • It's amazing to fly out of Japan at night! I cannot think of any other part of the world that I've flown out of (or into) at night where you see so many lights, so close together, for such vast areas. London's dense, but I'd bet Tokyo stretches much, much farther.
  • I just looked it up. About 80 million people live in that area. (Not Tokyo itself. The greater Honshu area.)
  • I know Taiwan is hot, but having spent the past couple of months in the frigid weather in the Midwest wouldn't allow my brain to believe that it really was going to be hot. Especially since it's actually supposedly still spring here. But it's a nice a balmy 25C (almost 70F) right now.
  • It's after midnight. I'm sleeping with the fan on and on top of the bed. I like that.
  • It took me 30 hours from when I left home in Iowa to when I got to my place for the night in Taipei.
  • I'm going to try and get some sleep now...

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