Happy New Year one and all!
Laura and I are both safely back in Japan now after a whirlwind winter holiday season. We're so glad we got to be with our families for the holidays and catch up with some of you. The weather here is 37.4 degrees F with light rain. The weather in this region of Japan is really interesting. When I flew in to Nagoya, it was cool and raining. At my transfer in Maibara, it was snowing heavily. When I arrived in Tsuruga it was really really snowing. We're talking clumps of snowflakes the size of cotton balls. As you may have heard from Laura, Japan doesn't know how to treat winter weather. Every six inches along the road there is a sprinkler that gushes water onto the roadway. Now, not only are there 13 inches of snow, there are 6 inches of water through which to navigate. However, only 40 minutes south, there was no snow and only a moderate drizzle.
However, this crazy weather was a happy ending to Laura's and my travel experiences. Backtracking...many hours which cannot be enumerated, my flight to Detroit was delayed because of "hydraulic problems." Hmm, what on the plane does not use hydraulics? What on the plane uses hydraulics and its failure causes a fiery fireball of fire upon landing? (Answers at the end of this post!)
After waiting in line for a couple hours, it was finally my turn for rebooking. Luckily, the plane is ready for boarding at this time, and no, I didn't need to be rebooked. The woman made this assessment was very lucky in her judgment; my flight arrived in Detroit at 3:15, and my flight to Japan was scheduled for departure at 3:25. Luckily for me, the gates were directly opposite each other on the concourse.
Thirteen hours, 4 depressing/cheesy movies, 2 awful curries (btw do NOT go with the Vegetarian/Asian/Spicy option,) 1 arthritic Filipino woman, and zero restroom visits later, I was in Nagoya Airport.
Jisaboke means "jet-lag," but it literally translates to "time difference stupidity." This is accurate. It was several minutes after a woman told me that all the bags had come up before I started to comprehend the situation. They had lost one of my bags. I wandered about stupidly before a woman helped me fill out the appropriate forms. Here was my first taste of that Japanese politeness that I was missing in America. She asked me what was in my lost bag, and I was able to remember I had "clothes, cereal, and toiletries," but it wasn't until five hours later that I remembered "computer." I'm a little unnerved that my brain put Lucky Charms before my $500 laptop and very expensive accessory. The train rides were easy, and each stop brought me closer to Oi. At the time, I felt nothing except an ache to see Laura, but in retrospect, I'm really glad they lost one of my bags because then I didn't have to lug two heavy suitcases up and down the stairs of various train stations.
Well, despite lost bags, days, time, and minds Laura and I are home now. Laura has started her new schedule, but the kids don't come back until Friday, when they have their opening ceremony. I don't work until Tuesday, which gives me a lot of time to catch up on laundry and finish unpacking.
Laura and Jonathan
(Answers: 1)Everything 2)Landing gear. Improperly stowed carry on baggage, as well as seat backs and tray tables not returned to their full and upright positions are not acceptable answers, but will count for half credit.)