Sunday, January 08, 2006

Back home again in Japan

Got back last night, slept well, but woke up at 5am here. Suck. Here's why I hate flying:

1. Got into an argument with the check-in lady because I was allowed to take 2 bags @ 50 lbs each. I was freaking out before coming here because I thought I wasn't allowed that.

2. Because of (1), I was stamped SSSS, which in airline terms means you get everything searched. So it took them about 30 minutes to go through all my carry-on stuff at the security check. If you have electronic items, they have to swab everything and put it through a chemical detector. Here's what I had:

*1 cell phone in my pocket
*1 iPod in my coat pocket
*1 XPC computer that looks more like a bomb than a computer (that one was fun to explain)
*1 power cable for a laptop computer that I didn't have on me
*1 cd case that also counts
*various pharmaceuticals (all OTC)
*assorted computer cables that went to accessories in my checked luggage
*1 thermos cup of oolong tea. Oolong tea sets off all the warning lights when it's put through the sniffer, plus the metal container made it opaque in the scanner. Yay.
*1 turkey sandwich. I love turkey.

Not to mention a thick belt buckle and hiking boots. I held up the line so long, with so many people behind me, they just told everyone else to go on through. It was rather absurd, but that's how it goes, I guess. Thankfully, there was no security check at Detroit. It was strange, because I've always recalled going through immigration or customs when leaving the US. But I walked out of the gate at Detroit, down the way and onto the plane to go to Narita, without having to show anyone my passport or have anything stamped. I thought that was a bit odd. At least I didn't get searched again.

Northwest is one of the worst airlines to fly on. Every flight is late and something always goes wrong. Going to Indy, both flights were delayed (the 2nd of which saved me, otherwise I would've missed it), my tray table was broken, so I had to prop it up so my food didn't slide off into my lap, and the movie projector broke, which wasn't a bad thing becuase the movies showing were "Sky High," "Mr. Perfect," and some other piece of trash.

This time, we left over an hour late from Detroit because of de-icing problems. The movies weren't too bad, I'd never pay to see "Dukes of Hazzard," but it was at least not completely horrible. The other two movies were some Reese Witherspoon flick and Roman Polanski's "Oliver Twist." Again, not bad, but it couldn't keep my attention the whole time.

I did manage to read The Long Way Round by Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman. It's a pretty good read, about two guys who go around the world on motobikes. Can't beat that. It also shows that actors aren't always superficial, and how events can affect people. MacGregor's thing was UNICEF, as they visited a few different facilities in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The best parts were reading about all the interesting people there, and makes me really wish I could do something like that. Guess I have to become famous first. Really, though, if two famous actors have trouble getting something like that funded and paid, what chance do I have. I think mine will forever be a pipe dream.

Anyways, I got back to Hiratsuka a bit after 9pm, took a taxi home, hauled everything up to my room, showered and crashed. I woke up at 5am and watched the sun rise, for lack of anything better to do. When shops finally opened up, I wandered out to the electronic store and purchased a monitor so I could hook up my computer. I've got it all set up and am back sitting under my kotatsu tapping away. Julian's off at a sumo match, I bowed out so I could straighten things up around here and prepare for classes tomorrow. But since the school's neglected to send me anything, I don't have that much to do. Oh well.

On that note, take care and hope to see everyone again soon, when you come here to visit. It's your turn now :P

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