Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Traveling to Singapore

Katie and I left our home on the Olympic Peninsula on Tuesday, spent the night in Seattle at my sister’s, and on Wednesday caught a flight to Singapore. With layovers in San Francisco and Tokyo, we arrived thirty six hours later, with sore butts, sore backs and muddled brains. It was dark when we left and traveling away from the sun made it the longest night of our lives. I don't know how many time zones we crossed, but we lost track of the day and time and felt like we had entered the Twilight Zone.

I’d like to say the plane trip wasn’t bad, but I’d be lying. At times it wasn’t bad, but mostly it was a slow deliberate form of torture. We flew Japan Air on the last two legs of the journey and had been told that the food was good, it wasn’t, and that the seating was more comfortable than that of other airlines’, but it was just barely.

The stewardesses were all young, pretty, soft spoken and extremely gracious and helpful. Women’s lib has obviously not influenced the hiring practices of the Japanese airline industry and I’m alright with that.

On the seats in front of us were video screens with a modest choice of movies. I watched “The Intern”, with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, not a great movie, but I enjoyed it (I’ll watch De Niro in anything), “Jurassic World” a silly, predictable movie with good special effects, and “Black Mass” a disturbing movie with Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, and the better of the three movies. The movies were about two hours each which left an endless amount of time for reading, trying to get comfortable, trying to sleep and trying not to look at my watch.  

During the longest leg of the flight, between San Francisco and Tokyo, I was stuck in the middle seat with Katie by the window and in the aisle seat, a guy who put a black mask over his eyes and slept the whole time. When Katie or I had to pee, which is often at our age, especially with the helpful stewardesses supplying us with plenty of water and soft drinks so that we didn’t get dehydrated or throw an embolus, I had to wake him from a deep sleep, wait while he pulled off the mask and stood up in the aisle. And when we returned, Rip van Winkle was again sound asleep with his mask on.

Our longest layover was in Tokyo. For five hours we wandered around the airport, sat in a variety of places and ate Japanese food, which was delicious. We were both happy to be off the plane. We couldn’t figure out why so many Japanese people were wearing surgical masks. Is the Avian flu back and should we be avoiding them or are they afraid we are sick and they’re trying to avoid us? A lot of young school girls had them on. I can’t stand having a mask over my face, but that’s just me. I’ll take my chances.
Peter, Katie’s son, met us at the Singapore airport and took us on a wild ride nearly the entire width of the city/state/country. People drive on the wrong side of the road here and zillions of motorbikes dart in and out of traffic.   

But we made it to Peter’s home where his wife, Nani, and son, Christopher, welcomed us. We ate a wonderful meal Nani had prepared, fell into bed in their guest room, and slept. 


No comments:

Post a Comment