Newark, Detriot, Tokyo, Bangkok. This was my path. I had always wanted to go to Tokyo and in a few hours I would be making my first stop there.
14 hours after I left Newark I landed in Narita airport. Ten minutes prior to landing I was informed that a typhoon in China had caused my flight to be cancelled.
My chance to enter the country had been presented to me. On one of the many horrible lines that was entailed into this journey I met up with an American from Ohio that would be staying in Bangkok for the next year and we decided to make our 20 hours in Tokyo worth while despite the jetlag.
We walked to the streets of Japan that night and in stubbled into a sucluded town that spoke no English. My two semesters of Japanese was finally going to pay off. Although I had some difficulties with the Tokyo accent ( my sensei was from Osaka) I made the best attempt I could in ordering us some real Japanese cuisine.
The noodle house we had entered was much like those I had frequented back in New York. The chairs were tiny and made of bamboo and all the employees greeted us with a large grin and a bow. However, there were many differences. The room was filled with the popular past times of most Asians; cigarette smoke. This particular noodle house perfumed with smoke and it permiated all of the walls and ceilings.
The bathroom was also a site to see. Within it was a toilet that looked like it was 3 years ahead of anything I had seen in Australia or America. The numberous buttons of the side remote was confusing enough, but then as soon as you pushed flush the little fountain above the toilet leaked water into a the tiny garden that was mounted on it…fancy pooping.
We departed Narita and made ourway toward Bangkok the next morning. It was my first flight on Nippon Airways, but hopefully not my last. One of the many items able to the passenger on his personal tv monitor is a tiny camera that lets you see a slightly zoomed in shot of the ground directly below the plane. Flying over Cambodia and Vietnam and being able to see the little dirtpaths and rivers below was a sight that will stay with me for years to come.
Despite the endless games of Mario World 3 and Mission Impossible 3 (no coincidence) the planes camera came with a hidden feature. As we began to make our descent the camera turned its angle forward showing the passenger the entire landing from a cockpit view.
The plane tetters back and forth, left to right…it is truly a horrifying thing to see for the first time.
Truly pilots have nerves of steal.