First real blog post for Tokyo. It is around 4pm, Tokyo time, and it is extremely hot and muggy. There’s a countrywide ( I believe, or just Tokyo) mandate to conserve energy. “Mandate” may be a strong word, but basically people here in Tokyo are urged to use fans instead of their air-conditioners. This is everywhere, though: in apartments, office buildings, schools, and shops. So, I’m sitting in my room on the third floor, and there’s no real breeze and it is a hundred percent humidity or something. I have a little wash-cloth to mop up the sweat. When I’ve been out doing things in public, I am wearing long-sleeve t-shirts and jeans. It’s absolutely brutal.
So, getting to Tokyo was quite an adventure. Adventure; I’m making it sound fun. It was actually an incredibly painful process. My flight was from Portland to Los Angeles, and then to Tokyo, originally. About fifteen minutes into the flight the captain mentioned that there were some “mechanical difficulties,” or something like that, and announced a slight delay of about half an hour. That turned into an hour, then into two hours. This was being announced by a flight attendant who didn’t sound too sure of herself. She was saying things like, “Well, uhhh….the captain’s going to….(long pause) check on the,…on the, uhhhh…situation. Uhhh….(laugh), In about forty five minutes, uhhhh…..he should have some more information, and ….uhhhh….then we will know, uhhhh….we will have more information for you…..thank you.” She got back on to apologize about the delay and then said that the captain is going down, personally, to get an answer, but in the meantime if any of us might be missing connections in Los Angeles, please exit the plane and go back out into the terminal to inquire, only make sure to bring everything with you. So, at the last minute they decided to transfer planes.
There were four Oregon students on this flight to Tokyo, so we were in the same situation. We ended up together at an information desk, trying to get answers about our missed connection in Los Angeles. They told us that we could stay in Portland, but our luggage would still be going to Los Angeles, sorry, there’s nothing we can do about that. But how bout you ask the Alaska Airlines check-in to see what they can do. Then on to Alaska Airlines check-in, where we dealt with some rather unhelpful people, who finally boarded us a route to Los Angeles with a four or five hour layover in San Diego. As well, we were given information about hotel vouchers, since we would need to stay in Los Angeles for the night and then take the first international flight to Japan in the morning. We had no choice, apparently, we were told, and by the way, the plane has already boarded and is waiting for you, so hurry up.
San Diego: Layover. Since we were bonded by a missed connection, the four of us Oregon students stuck together, which ended up being very helpful. Here’s what it looked like, though, in San Diego:
This was not too bad. But you know, it was already getting kinda old. I’d been up since three in the morning, and this was sometime around 3 pm, and we were set to get into Los Angeles sometime around 5:30 pm. We arrived in L.A., then off to some hotel somewhat close by the airport, and then out to find some food, which, by the way, Alaska Airlines didn’t give us meal vouchers for. Kind of a shitty move, since it was sort of their fuck-up and some of these guys were short on cash since they’d transferred much of their dollars into yen. Anyhow, off to a confused Taqueria for dinner. I say confused because the menu read like some continental buffet. You could get everything from bacon and eggs and pancakes, french toast, burgers and fries, taco plates, burritos, and I think Greek gyros, since there was a mound of mystery meat on a stick, roasting right outside the front door. It looked just like the set-up of a lamb gyro tube o’ meat. It wasn’t bad, and the place definitely had its charm, and it was cheap.
By whatever time at night, I’d been up for quite awhile. I think I ultimately went to sleep around eleven. But, of course, I got up early the next day, and then I couldn’t sleep on the flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo. And, I hadn’t eaten much in this whole period. This combined with jet-lag, combined with, I think, some pretty heavy dehydration, made the whole experience from then on pretty surreal. Is it silly to say that I’m too old for that kind of shit?
Well, it’s so hot right now that I’m gonna wrap this up. Maybe when there’s a day where I can think straight I’ll go into more detail about things here, in Tokyo. Should be soon. Just wanted to put something down for those who may be watching. Till then,
Good Smell. Good Curry.