Friday, 11 September 2015

Slight Return

I was waiting for the right time (and the right airfare) to come back to Japan. Early in the year I had heard on the last day that there were cheaper tickets. With little preparation I didn't have time to commit to a flight. Sadly I let that one  go.

In May the opportunity came up again. Jetstar are the cheapest, but they try their best to cut their fares by making it extra for checked bags and other non-nessities for example, food.

While my principle reason is to catch up with old friends, the other big reason is to bring back a whole lot of stuff I had to leave behind because I had run out of space in my luggage, and also ran out of time.

I had mixed fears of nerves and excitement. My strongest memories were the things that I really missed so I was hoping that I would be coming back with a refreshed and less cynical outlook of the place.

My flight left at 7 in the morning and I had only two hours of sleep. I didn't have much to pack. I bought a 2.7kg suitcase mainly to carry as much as possible on the return flight.

Jetstar asks for a two hour check-in, even though my first leg was a domestic flight to Cairns and then onwards to Tokyo. It wasn't really necessary. I practically checked in immediately. 

There was only a modest amount of people on the flight. Going to Cairns there were the obligatory "larrakins" (translation: d*ckheads) that made me embarrassed to call myself in the broad sense, Australian. Every other word was "fark" and they wouldn't STFU. I could even hear them over my headphones. Yes, that bad.

Transferring in Cairns was much worse. The line was larger. I was bursting for the bathroom, but I had to wait to check in. The new dreamliner aircraft looked nice and shiny, but I felt they tried their darndest to fit in as many extra seats as possible.

Unfortunately you had to pay for the in-flight movies, so I spent most of the flight listening to the Triple J Hot 100 which wasn't all that bad. My mother had made me four sandwiches, which were two sandwiches too many. Hopefully I'll lose the ten kilos I've gained since I had come back.

Customs in Narita took a long time as usual because foreigners are still treated like criminals having our fingerprints and photo taken. I hope Australia does the same thing. It just started my reminders of the 101 things I hate about Japan.

I made my way back to Yotsuya surprisingly easy and relatively quickly. I hoped to use the free wifi, but my iPhone kept sending me warnings of untrusted certificates for the wifi hotspots. Nevertheless I had a train map which made reminding me of the connections pretty easy. In an hour and a half I was back in very familiar territory.