Thursday, August 5, 2010

Up in the Air (Part 1 of 2)

I was going to apologize in advance for the length of this entry rivaling a thesis. I then decided to break it up into two parts in order to not overwhelm my readers. You will find below a log or journal, whatever you want to call it, that I wrote up for the duration of both flights from New York to Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Singapore. I included the songs I was listening to when writing each entry as well as the entire list of songs I played in flight. There are some facts about my trip at the end of this entry that I thought may be of interest to you readers. The times presented below are Eastern Standard Time with the first day being Tuesday, August 3, 2010.

August 3, 2010
1:00 P.M. → I make it to the gate where I will board the plane. Nothing memorable happened with me getting through security, which I take to be a good thing. I just left my Dad and sister at the security checkpoint and now I’m on my own until December. I’m starting to realize exactly what I signed up for.

1:11 → There are no seats at the gate so I stand aimlessly in the middle of the terminal. Then some random dude taps me on the shoulder and asks if I went to school with him; he says his name is “Eddie.” I say “no” (I’ve never met someone named Eddie in my entire life). We have an awkward conversation for a solid five minutes about life; I learned that he graduated from the University of Alabama and he’s going to law school next semester. I didn’t want to leave the conversation on a bad note since I didn’t know if he would be sitting nearby me. Luckily, my mom bails me out by calling me from work to make sure everything is together and that I’m alright. Good save mom. Then again I could have just faked a phone call earlier on.

1:40 → I settled into my seat, 60G. It’s the back of the plane for me. I am one of the few Americans onboard. I quickly become engrossed by the sound of Japanese conversation mainly from the three boys right behind me. Little kids may not make for the most enjoyable plane ride experiences. However, this annoyance gets amplified tenfold when you don’t even understand what they are screaming at the top of their lungs. The icing on the cake was even before take off some of them started to play some chasing game in the aisle. Fantastic.

2:10 → We still haven’t left the gate yet, what gives? I am doing whatever I can to remain calm. I take a look at the flight plan on the projector. It shows that the plane will be navigating up through much of Canada and eventually pass through Alaska. After touching the coast of the Arctic Circle, we will come back down in latitude on course for Japan. It seems crazy to think that this would be the fastest way to get there.

2:32 → Starbursts are so flippin’ good! Sorry had to get that out of my system. I’ve just been munching away at them like a mad man. I’m still on U.S. soil.

2:39 → Takeoff.

3:14 → Listening to “Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest. A very attractive stewardess cuts in mid-song and offers me a drink. Someone was thinking of me when they made up these assignments. I’m comfortable with my situation so far; I will continue to stick with the iPod rather than watch the really bad sitcom being shown on the projector.

3:33 → Listening to “Florida” by Starf*****. Fact. One of the stewardesses looks exactly like “Jessica” from True Blood.

3:38 → Listening to “A Peace of Light” by The Roots. Timeout. I don’t mean to write about this flight so frequently but why in the world are they serving dinner right now? There’s college dining hall early, then nursing home early, then THIS!?! If this is dinner, midnight snack is going to be at 8:00 P.M.

4:19 → This flight has already been well worth it. I just watched some kid get carded for alcohol. He wasn’t twenty-one and got really flustered when asked how old he was. Noobasaurus. I enjoyed watching that over a salad and some chicken teriyaki. No complaints here.

6:00 → Listening to “Get Innocuous” by LCD Soundsystem. I just woke up from a nap only to realize I should probably go back to sleep considering we are not even remotely close to Japan, yet. It is kind of a problem, though, to sleep in this aisle seat between “Jessica” and attractive stewardess from before constantly walking up and down the aisle bumping my shoulder. I need to go into a really deep sleep to not feel these disturbances. Where’s Cobb when you need him?

7:19 → Listening to “Cha Cha Cha” by The Little Ones. All is quiet on the western front as I figure we are somewhere over Canada or even better, Alaska. Considering how long I’ve been sitting here doing nothing but listening to music, eating whatever the plane has had to offer, and reading Sports Illustrated, I’m doing pretty darn good (knock on wood). I will say that it would be better if they would play ONE good movie. I doubt it will happen. For now I will just watch Gerrard Butler and Jennifer Anniston act out in some bad romantic comedy to sound of my music.

7:50 → Listening to “Weekend Wars” by MGMT. I just had the privilege of taking a baby’s foot to the shoulder. Very exciting…and ow.

9:20 → Listening to “Matchbox” by The Kooks. It’s feeding time again! Let me also mention that the stewardess has rubbed her butt on my elbow at least ten times while helping the person behind me. A definite low point on my flight since I have so little room to myself and now whatever personal space I have is being crowded. Now, back to the point of this entry. So what are they force-feeding me with? It is a mystery meat sandwich, of course. Very nice…

9:32 → Listening to “Na├»ve” by The Kooks. By the way, that mystery meat sandwich from ten minutes ago, still not sure what it was. I would have to say its either foul turkey or ham but still under review. I must also bring up that I keep getting friendly reminders from people opening the window shutters that there is broad daylight outside. It is really confusing based on the time it is at home right now. It could very well be two in the afternoon wherever we are.

11:01 → Listening to “Royal Oil” by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I’m starting to run out of gas from shear music overload and eating too much. Pretty lame on my part that those two things could ever wear me down. I have been thinking for the last hour or so that in a few hours I will be in Japan! It’s almost surreal to think back to learning about this country in second grade with Ms. Ikle. While I will only be in the country for two hours, it still brings back memories.

To be continued...

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