Before we even left Philadelphia, there were rumors of a delayed departure. It wasn’t until the ‘airport leaders’ went in to find out where we were supposed to be that the big wrench was thrown into our plans. They saved the day, along with Ali and the other helpful Delta-ites and got us going in the right direction (without anyone stopping in Seattle for two days or anything else of the sort)….after a lovely sevenish hours hanging out in the old Pan-Am terminal with no food facilities. Yes, I’m bitter. It worked out in the end as Delta gave us lunch stipends (six whole dollars) of which I went buck wild with….
I got the new security pat down and I can say from personal experience, my guard got a little too frisky. It’s all part of international travel though. While the Delta employees were really great in getting everything (like all of our tickets, connections, transportation, hotel, meal vouchers etc.) taken care of, the flight wasn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever been on. Good thing we have another one to go on tomorrow. There are four of us that couldn’t be scheduled on the new connection with everyone (guess who is one of them?), so we’ll be traveling more independently than the whole group. We’re a bit overwhelming by taking up huge amounts of space and everyone is chatty building up the volume levels. It’ll be nice to only be responsible for a small group and get to know some new faces. The Japanese branch of Delta was amazingly efficient and got our flight completely taken care of very quickly. Having a native-born Japanese man (shout out to Kanji!) probably helped as he acted as our translator and general Japanese guide. Try and say that five times fast. The delay has actually really worked out because we get to sleep in tomorrow and adjust to the jet lag a bit. The space-like, futuristic atmosphere is everywhere in Japan from the heated toilet seats to the ‘massage theaters’ we came across in our hotel’s lobby. Unfortunately, having absolutely no Yen to speak of, we didn’t get to try those bad boys out, but I wouldn’t say no to a good Thai massage right about now! Being tall is already sticking out in minor places like trying to wash my hands in the sink of our hotel bathrooms….they barely pass my knees, no joke. Landing in Japan has built up some great anticipation and it’s finally sinking in that tomorrow(ish) I’ll be in Thailand! This travel experience has been an adventure thus far, but I can say with complete honesty that I know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.