Friday, April 04, 2008

Okinawa Trip: And the Traveler Arrives!

It's 4 a.m. and my body is wide awake, all screwed up from time changes and traveling halfway across the world. I thought I'd kill some time writing about my travels.

Detroit to Chicago

I traveled with a group of bratty high school students from Germany, all wearing the skinniest jeans known to mankind. And in case you ever want to try Quizno's breakfast sandwiches, don't!

Chicago to Tokyo

I made it with 20 minutes to catch my flight to Tokyo, which was (of course) boarding in another concourse. I ran through the airport to catch the flight, which ended up leaving an hour late. This time I traveled with a group of well-behaved high school girls from Japan, who all wore uniforms complete with knee socks and neckties. Somehow each uniform looked different - that's how hip they were!

On the flight, I sat by a non-uniformed hip-looking girl from Japan who never got up once during the 13 hour flight. She just stared straight ahead listening to an iPod. I, on the other hand, had rampant ADD. I went to the bathroom 5 times out of boredom, read 1.75 books and watched 3.5 movies (August Rush wasn't very good.) and one TV show.

Of course, I never sit by hot men on flights. I was stuck across the aisle from a blustery guy with a bad toupee who kept complaining about how they ran out of chicken before they got to us in the back. And he kept asking for two meals and five drinks at a time! Plus, he frequently got up and bent over in the aisle. I'd turn my head to get a face full of droopy khaki-clad backside. He was the only person on the entire plane who kept his window shades open, so the light shown right in my eyes. Ugh!

The only excitement on the flight was the food, which broke up the monotony - we got pretzels and beef and Ramon noodles and vegetarian lasagna.

The Tokyo Airport

I made it to Tokyo with about an hour before my next flight to Okinawa. When I got to the part where they clear our passports and fingerprint us, there were 75 people in line! I was in line with the most beautiful Asian women on earth. They must have been from Korea or China because they were in the foreign line with me. They all had rosy cheeks and glowing skin and perfectly straight hair - and the skinniest jeans on earth. I had blackheads and sweatpants and frizz.

I cut it so close, a lady had to get my bags off the cart for me and help me rush through customs, warning me that I only had 5 minutes to check in. Frantic, I went to the check-in area where there were hundreds of video cameras waiting - it looked like the Japanese paparazzi. I'm sure they weren't expecting a frantic-looking, blackhead-covered American wearing sweatpants who was almost in tears because she couldn't figure out where to go. I finally made it to the All Nippon Airways check-in counter and got checked in. Plenty of time! The 5 minutes was a fib.

Tokyo to Okinawa

I slept through most of the 3-hour flight to Okinawa. The flight attendants were very glamorous with matching pink neck scarves and black skirt suits. They walked around carrying a carton of Tropicana instead of water to refill our glasses. Apparently they don't do water on Japanese flights. A video kept popping up on the screen with self massages and exercises we should be doing. When we landed, an on-the-outside-of-the-plane camera actually showed us touching the ground!

The Okinawa airport was beautiful - orchids everywhere. I love the bathrooms (or toilets as the signs called them.) There were a couple of scary trough thingies I avoided. The American-style toilets had buttons! I pushed one and water came spurting out, like a bidet. I took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn it off. Another button played music (in case you're bashful!)

OK - I'm sleepy again. Off to bed!

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