Sunday, 08 May, 2005

Japan, here I come!

With nothing to do before our 1:00 flight to Japan, David and I took our time this morning, made a couple of wrong turns on the way to the airport, and still managed to check into our flight before the rush.  We breezed through check-in and security, and had a couple of hours to kill in the airport departure lounge.  Too bad that T-Mobile wants $10 for a one-day connection on their wireless network.  Austin, too, is charging for wireless Internet access on their Wayport system.  I can't imagine that they have enough people actually paying for access that they can make money.  I thought they'd offer the wireless access as a convenience to travelers in an attempt to keep us happy.  Free wireless is bound to keep people quiet better than televisions in the departure lounge.

A Boeing 747 is a huge machine that holds 400 or more people.  Today's flight was totally full.  The prospect of spending 10.5 hours crammed into that little seat was kind of daunting, but I figure if I can manage to ride my bike for 12 hours, sitting in one place for the duration should be a breeze.  I won't say that I was comfortable during the flight, but the exceptional service, good food, and ear plugs made it bearable.  Time seems to drag on during those flights, and after three or four hours I didn't know how I was going to manage the rest of the flight.  My only real complaint, besides having to sit in one place for so long other than getting up to wander the aisles and use the bathroom, was that the the cabin was so hot.  Either the air conditioner was on the blink, or I'm just overly sensitive to heat.

All in all, the flight was just long, and no less comfortable than most domestic flights I've taken on full aircraft.  The beautiful and friendly JAL cabin attendants made the flight much more comfortable.  They provided the best service I've ever had on any flight.

We arrived at Narita airport at about 4:00.  I'm glad that David had spent some time in Japan, because I was totally lost.  I guess I could have managed to find my way to the train bound for Tokyo and find my way to the hotel.  It would have been a bit more difficult, though.

So now I'm in Tokyo, in a comfortable little shoebox hotel room.  It's 9:00 pm on December 9, or about 5:00 am in San Francisco.  I lost a day crossing the date line, so the entries here might be post-dated a day.  I've been up for 24 hours.  Work starts at 9:00 tomorrow morning, so I'm crawling into bed.