David Chart's Japan Diary

September 29th 2003

I'm leaving tonight, and I've just about finished packing. (It's about mid-day, so I'm not running late, OK.) Packing has been a bit tricky. I'm flying Cathay Pacific and they have lower baggage allowances than American Airlines, with whom I flew to the USA. And I've bought stuff (and had stuff bought for me) while I was here. So, I've got two cases packed for the hold, a hand luggage bag (limited to 7kg), my laptop (limited to 4kg), and a small handbag. That left a few books (heavy things, books) that will need to be shipped. I've just finished putting them in boxes, and writing up a packing list so that my Dad know's what he's shipping.

I'm going to have to get all of this stuff back to England afterwards as well, and I suppose it's just possible that I'll buy some more stuff while I'm in Japan for a year. Oh well, I don't need to worry about that for a while.

I'm flying to Tokyo via Hong Kong. A direct flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo takes about eleven or twelve hours. Los Angeles to Hong Kong is about fourteen hours. Hong Kong to Tokyo is about five. So why am I flying this daft route? Because I get free tickets if I fly this way. My Dad has lots of air miles, and used some to get me to Japan. The rules said that I had to fly several different carriers, and Cathay Pacific were the carrier to get me from LA to Japan. Naturally, being a Hong Kong-based airline, they only do it via Hong Kong.

Still, at least I get to visit China. For an hour and a half. In the airport.

OK, so that isn't terribly exciting.

I'm not particularly looking forward to spending fourteen hours inside an aeroplane. I don't much like flying; it doesn't scare me, but it isn't very pleasant. The air is horribly dry, I don't sleep very well, and I can't eat. I can't eat because I got mild food poisoning from airline food a few years ago, and now the smell alone makes me nauseous. I know that I could overcome it if I put the effort in -- it's purely psychological. But it would take effort, and the pay-off would be -- I could eat airline food. Somehow, the reward doesn't seem worth it.

I'm looking forward to Tokyo. Almost everything is booked, and I've arranged to meet some of my friends from Cambridge before I head on to Okazaki on Saturday. I'll try to write some entries while I'm there, but I'm not sure when I'll next have a chance to upload a diary entry; probably after I get to Okazaki and Yamasa.