HI! I’m writing to you from the Tokyo Narita International Airport! Here’s what I’ve been up to the last 24 hours:
After watching the fireworks at Kirkwood with friends and family, I headed home for about 3 hours of sleep before being awoken at 3:10am by my mother saying “Katrina, time to go to Singapore!” I threw my stuff in the car and fell asleep in the back seat while my fearless father drove the whole family (minus one teenage brother who was still at home) to Chicago. Check-in at O’Hare went fabulously and I said a tearful goodbye to my lovely mother and father as I took my first steps toward the other side of the world. Security was easy (especially compared to the rigorous check-in process at camp!) and I killed a few hours at O’hare trying to connect to the internet (fail) and eating an over-priced apple and bottle of water. My first reality check was while I was at the gate waiting for my plane. I looked around and realized that for the first time in my life, I was the minority. I guess I hadn’t thought about the fact that on a flight to Japan, most of the people would be Japanese. Ha.
My airline was called ANA (shout out to my roomie!) and had ANA written on everything, which kept me pretty entertained. I got on the plane and after a failed attempt to introduce myself to the girl sitting next to me (she was much more interested in sleeping), settled in for the 14-hour flight. Luckily, my seat had one of those personal TVs with all kinds of movies, games, and music to keep me busy. Also, there were lots of cute Asian babies on it (another shout-out to my roomie!) I really only slept for about 2 hours on the plane (which will come as a surprise to some of you).
They brought us lunch (chicken teryaki or salmon, I picked the chicken) which also came with a variety of traditional Japanese food (sadly, no sushi). A little confused on what some of it was and how to go about eating it, I kept an eye on the Japanese man next to me and basically copied him. Smooth, I know. We also got a couple of snacks and lasagna for dinner, so I was kept well-fed.
Another option on the small TV was to watch a digital image of our plane flying over the earth and track it as it goes along. I was surprised to find out that we were not flying straight across the Pacific, but instead going up through Canada and over Alaska. We even were flying near Kamchatka at one point (nod to the Risk fans out there). The flight was great overall and the flight attendants were the cutest things I’ve ever seen! They were so sweet and so friendly and they all had these cute little neckbows on.
Near the end of the flight, the girl next to me finally woke up and I found out that she was from Kentucky, meeting up with her family in Tokyo. She said she had been to both Singapore and Thailand before and that I would like them. Thanks, sleepy airplane girl.
Well, it’s currently about 2:40 in the afternoon here which makes it 12:40am Iowa time. I haven’t slept much but am feeling surprisingly energized! You would think an airport this size would be crazy busy but it honestly looks like Lindale mall on a lazy Tuesday afternoon. but with more carpet. It must be spread out well enough to keep the people under control. My next plane leaves in about 3 hours, so in the meantime I am on a mission to find some sushi!
p.s. I promise pictures soon!
p.p.s. I am currently paying 500 yen for 24 hours of internet access at this airport. If anyone wants to convert that to dollars for me, knock yourself out.