Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Touch down in the land of the rising sun

Waking up at 6:40 this morning made me realize both that my feeble attempts to ward off jet-lag have failed and that the sliding doors in Cooper and my apartment are far too loud. It is a great day in Japan: 72 degrees and sunny. The view from my window consists largely of telephone poles and bike racks, but there are great leafy hills off to my right and I can see Lake Biwa peeking at me between some trees on the left.

The flight to Japan went about as smoothly as one might expect a 14 hour flight to be. We were all rather excited to get going and this energy fueled us for the first four hours. Then, as the in-flight movie "Monsters vs. Aliens" began playing, we all realized that we were in for quite a lengthy stay in a cramped metal tube. My carry-on fit neither beneath my seat nor in the overhead compartment but instead found a spot exactly in the only area Northwest had designated for my feet. Suffice it to say, I was uncomfortable. Even with the 32 degree recliner seat, I had quite a difficult time sleeping. In the middle of my battle for comfort around hour six, I decided to pop half a Xanex into my mouth and put my knees up on the seat in front of me. If I was to be uncomfortable, I would be bringing the guy in front of me down too.

Once, while awaking from my Xanex induced coma, I heard someone shout for a doctor and lots of people were standing in the aisle only a few rows in front of me. A lady had collapsed on the plane and no one really knew what to do. The closest thing to a doctor was the stewardess who propped her up in an open seat. As the lady began recovering consciousness, I went back to my fight to lose it.

We touched down around 6 pm local time. The sun was beginning to set as we streamed off the plane. Customs went quickly since we seemed to be the only flight to arrive then. After everyone who would be staying at JCMU had gotten their luggage, exchanged currency, and used the potty, our point of contact in Japan decided to shepherd us all toward the shuttle. With a healthy dose of Shakira sprinkled with some Eiffle 65, I looked out the window at the passing cities and the illuminated buildings and tried not to think about how much I wanted my bed. Finally, we made it to JCMU. A brief speech in the lobby of the residential hall concluded with us receiving our keys, a bottle of water, and a cup of ramen noodles. I decided to hold off on my Cup Noodle and instead, collapse onto my firm bed for the night.


  1. Wow. Monsters vs Aliens touched that lady's soul. I confused that movie with 'Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus' at first and then I realized no airline is sick enough to show that on a 14 hour flight.

    The view sounds perfect - lake and leafs. Yes leafs. Music sounds wretched though. I'll finally make that "Kelly's in Hikone" mix and post it for you.

    It's already fun reading these damn things. Write as often as possible please. Miss ya.