Planes, Fish and Turbulence

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This is Kat again. My Japanese adventure started with…a flight delay. Considering I had only an hour and 15 minutes between flights from Tokyo to Nagoya, this was a little troublesome. It became a bit more troublesome when the word “broken” was mentioned. NWA Flight 7 SEA to NRTNot a word you want to hear on a plane you’ll be on for the next 11 hours. That fixed, we took off nearly an hour late. Too bad they didn’t fix the seats while they were at it. I felt like I was sitting on a hard, wooden, straight-back kitchen chair. After we’d been airborne about 4 hours, there was a medical emergency on board. This couldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone as they served shrimp scampi with dinner. Nothing like having an anaphylactic allergic reaction at 45,000 feet. The problem was made even more alarming by the flight attendant who seemed on the verge of a complete emotional breakdown when she came on the loudspeaker to request the assistance of any doctors on board. It’s never a reassuring feeling when someone supposedly trained to remain calm in the event of an emergency is in a state of panic. Fortunately, the passenger recovered and we were not forced to make an unplanned stop. I watched a couple movies during the flight and had hoped to sleep but aside from one short stint, there was absolutely no turbulence during the flight and I’m unable to sleep if the ride is too smooth. During the one short stint of turbulence, I geared up for a nap…unfortunately, that same flight attendant who summoned the doctors over the loudspeaker earlier was jogging (yes, I said JOGGING) around the cabin ensuring that each and every passenger had their seat belts securely fastened. We eventually touched down safely in Tokyo, surprisingly only about 20 minutes late. Making the connection from Tokyo to Nagoya was no problem at all and the plane pulled away from the gate only a few minutes late. As we were taxiing to the runway, I dozed off (the seats on the hour-long flight from Tokyo to Nagoya were far more comfortable and had at least 40% more legroom than the seats on the flight from Sea-Tac to Tokyo…go figure). When I awoke, I realized it was about 5 minutes before our scheduled landing time in Nagoya. Great right? Nope…because we hadn’t even taken off yet. The Narita airport is HUGE. Even after we took off, we remained over some part of the airport for a good two or three minutes. Apparently (at least according to the captain), the airport isn’t set up very well as our hour delay was a result of our taxiing time to the designated runway. We did finally take off and this flight was super turbulent. They only briefly tried to offer some water to the passengers before calling it quits and asking everyone to remain seated. It was a blast and I was able to catch a few Z’s. Finally…Nagoya. YEAH! It took a while to clear immigration and customs but, being the great friend he is, Bikkuri patiently hung around and greeted me warmly once I was freed. We took a wild ferry ride to Tsu…and the REAL adventure began… (to be continued…)

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