Tokyo: Someone Else

Moisture off the ocean as I head to the airport

Moisture off the ocean as I head to the airport

Forgot about the time change last night: it was 7pm before I got outside and I wouldn’t have gotten to the awesome coffee downtown in time to enjoy it. Instead, I wandered around the neighborhood and ended up getting a beer and dinner. My pepto bismol moment last night argued otherwise, but what the hell. One cheapo Chang beer and some awesome fish and a dessert featuring coconut milk, corn, “sago” (no idea what that is), tapioca and a little onion, served hot…surprisingly satisfying considering I picked it all at random from the menu. The streets were loud with open restaurants blaring local rock, live bands competing with karaoke, radios and televisions. Somewhere, Stevie Wonder was still getting air time. It was hot and sticky simply walking around, shorts and flipflops definitely in order even at 10pm. I got back to the room, brushed my teeth, noticed the sink wasn’t draining, fumbled with the drain until I accidentally got it to work (press down, don’t pull up), considered once again what do do with the toilet paper (deposited into bags marked “sanitary bag” which then went into the trash if you must know…hope I was correct for the maid’s sake), set my alarm, arranged for a wake-up call, read about 2 pages, and that’s all I remember.

Departure concourse

Departure concourse, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. I thought my name was tough.

I woke up at 5, got the wake up call at 530, got the van to the airport at 6, got through boarding pass and immigration and bag check by 630, hit the gate before 7, got kicked out of the gate at 715 (wasn’t open yet), got on the plane at 8, got to Tokyo by I can’t remember Tokyo time, deplaned and went through yet another tedious bag check even though it was a transfer, got to the American Airlines desk just 20 minutes before flight time for my next boarding pass, ran for the plane and was the last one on, stewardesses shaking their heads at me, hit LA 12 hours later on the same day I left so I could live through this all again, got through immigration by 1230pm local time, got my checked bag and passed through customs at 130 (long, long, long line), had all my paperwork in order and a valid green card (unlike the last time several years ago, which took some negotiating: these people are more agreeable than they appear) got to Terminal 4 by 145, passed through bag check TSA pre-approved by 2 even though they made me disassemble everything after all (I’m telling you, I look suspicious to them), took the bus to the remote American Eagle terminal and waited 2 hours for the plane that left finally at 4, slept until we hit Tucson at 540pm local time, got home at 630 thanks to my exceptional brother (the mature one), took a shower, threw my clothes in the washing machine, unpacked the rest of my stuff, and sat down to write about it all at 8.

Narita Los Angeles Tucson

Narita Los Angeles Tucson

This trip already feels like it happened to someone else.

Leave a Reply