Eventful Journey


Started with a strange zig-zag flight from Canberra to Sydney.

With plenty of time to kill, the free WiFi at Sydney Airport (just answer three questions) helped me download the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun to my Kindle.

Plenty to be concerned about when there are about 100 Japanese students are in the waiting area.  Last time I was on a flight with so many students (neatly attired, it should be said) they spent most of their time moving from seat to seat visiting friends. Would they all fall asleep on the overnight flight?

Least of my worries, it turned out.  Boarding was delayed by an hour for cleaning.  (The plane was a substitute that had just flown from Perth to Sydney and needed a lot more cleaning than normal.)  My seat had a boarding pass from Singapore and a German Who/OK!/Hello/Heat magazine, so there was still more to do.

The delay spurred us determined travellers to fill damn near every seat in record time, but perhaps not quickly enough to beat the 2300 curfew at Sydney Airport.  Why do they only use 1 door?

I can’t sleep on planes; I can barely sit.  I’m yet to experience a sky bed and the best I’ve managed is business class.  Economy class for me is a special torture.  The seats are so short that I’m on my bum bone the whole time.  My legs have nowhere to go.  My mother’s hips don’t fit, even with the handle up.  The adjustable headrest doesn’t stop adjusting. I usually end up with my legs crossed, body twisted and neck stretched.  Lucky bugger in front had 3 seats to himself, so he slept horizontally.

The AV system was good through my fantastic new Sony MDR-NC7 noise-cancelling headphones (watched Senna and The Trip) until it refused all reasonable requests.  Even a 20 minute reboot didn’t iron out the bugs, though the pax in front was watching the golf no problem.

(I’m writing this on the N700 Shinkansen (bullet train) at 270km/h with over 50cm of leg room, a tray table I have to reach for and several sockets to recharge our phones. :)

Another mystery: why is it howling a gale even though all of the air outlets are closed?

Disembarking (on time) was much easier and faster as two doors are used.  (Are Australian airports the only ones who only use one door on all but the A380?)  Narita Airport has changed its wood panel décor for aluminium panels of the same colour.  Fingerprints (index) and picture taken, though I had to retake my shot from further away.  Free WiFi, too.

Limousine bus from airport drove the normal way: 100km/h in an 80 zone… just like everyone else; superb steering skills in tight spaces.

And it’s not yet 1200 and I’ve had 3 breakfasts

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