2019 – On the plane to Tokyo


It is 3:54 PM San Francisco time and 7:54 AM in Tokyo. I’m somewhere over the Pacific ocean on my way to Japan.

My bachelorhood of 2019 comes to an end tomorrow, but I’ll get to that in a minute. It all started out slow enough but then it seemed I was in a trance as the time just flew by. One would think I could have taken some of that time to reflect, meditate and perhaps write a good journal entry or two. I did write some entries but don’t think they were as deep as in the past. I was on autopilot, did my chores, when on my trips and now here I am, over the Pacific on my way to Japan. I’m very glad I wrote those few entries because otherwise I might have forgotten the entire summer outside of a few trips.

This morning I woke up at 5:30. I had planned to just take the time for a quiet breakfast, shut up the house and go. But as always, when I have big plans all the responses I’d been waiting on for the past month come all at once. It wasn’t heavy work but I had to respond to one important customer as well as get out a contract that took some time. After that it was on to shutting up the house and checking everything three or four times.

Peter was nice enough to take me to the airport and I was able to use a United Club pass given to me by one of my customers. The lounge was nice and I had time for a coffee, breakfast and to complete a few last minute work items. Then it was time to board the plane.

The flight got off to a very anxious start. There was a 40 minute delay to even get to the runway, we started to go and the plane stopped. It is never good when a pilot aborts a takeoff and my heart started to race. I’m meeting Brandon in Tokyo tonight and it is our only time to go check out Tokyo. However, meeting Brandon my first night in Tokyo must be bad luck. Two years ago we had planned to do the same. Only that time I had flown to LA then on to Japan in order to save money on the ticket.

The first flight went according to plan. The second flight started out well but two hours into the flight I looked out the window and saw the California coast was on the wrong side of the plane. In a panic I checked the flight map and sure enough we were heading back to LA! A few minutes after that an announcement came from the captain that we were indeed heading back to LA as the system needed to cross the Pacific wouldn’t turn on. This meant that they would perhaps try to fix it or we’d need a new plane. It couldn’t be fixed so a new plane it was and we’d also need a new crew due to regulations on how many hours the pilots and flight attendants can work.

We waited and waited until a new plane was finally ready. Then we waited some more as the co-pilot was stuck in LA traffic. To add insult to injury I had paid for Wi-Fi access on the first flight and after my trip called customer service. They said they would refund but never did.

Anyway, after the pilot aborted the takeoff he made an announcement in that a warning light had come on about low takeoff speed and he would try again. It took another 20 minutes as we had to wait in the takeoff line. I was anxious and had my fingers crossed. Thank God we did take off and now are almost halfway to Japan.

So far I’ve watched Clueless and The Princess Bride and am now writing this post. I’d like to sleep but it isn’t very comfortable so even though I want to fall asleep have been having a tough time of it. Perhaps I’ll try again after this post.

Tonight I’ll meet Brandon at the capsule hotel and we’ll head over to Shibuya. I did my research and found a cool spot that is filled with a number of small izakayas on one floor and also found a few other bars. Brandon sent me a link to a “gaijin party” which might be interesting but it is in Roppongi. Roppongi is the party place in Tokyo and we’ll have to be careful to not overdo it. We need to meet up with our families tomorrow and watch Misuki’s ballet. We then spend the night in Tokyo and are going to a place that should be fun for the kids on Sunday. So I’ll need my energy.

Needing that energy means I should probably try and get some sleep now which is what I’ll do.

—-Update 10:53 AM Tokyo Time

I just fnished watching Dazed and Confused. We’ve got about three and a half hours left of the flight. It is interesting paying attention to the phases of a long trip like this. At first you’re excited thinking about all the things you want to do in Tokyo. I like listening to music and just daydreaming. Then that gets old and perhpas I’ll watch a movie or two. During that I’ll get tired and maybe fall asleep. At this point I’d rather do something else but even though I download books I never feel like reading books halfway through a long flight. It always has to be at the beginning or I won’t do it. So then I decide to watch another movie. After that I really don’t want to watch a fourth movie and so I pull out this computer and write something down. Soon the lights will come back on and they’ll serve breakfast. After that it will be music time again as I get excited for Tokyo as we’ll be landing soon.

Dazed and Confused

I had a lot of memories while watching this movie. This was something we would always watch in high school and I remember watching it in a buddys basement. I thought about beeing a freshman myself and how nervous I was those first couple of days. You try to find your footing and everything is new. The seniors look like adults and it can be intimidating. You go from a small class of 24 people to a school of 125. Luckily for me I played summer baseball and knew a lot of the other incoming freshman.

In Dazed and Confused there are a couple of groups. You have the jocks, the nerds and the losers. I was with the budding jocks my freshman year as I had gotten sucked into wrestling. The physical education teacher was also the wrestling coach. We had a week of wrestling in PE and it was a good recruiting ground for him. I ended up winning my division and only got beat by one of the best athletes in our freshman class so I ended up getting persuaded to wrestle after I got cut from basketball. I thought that was pretty unfair as I never got a chance to show off my three pointers which I was really good at. So I reluctantly joined the wrestling team as I was in effect recruited.

My sophmore year I decided to be a rebel and not wrestle. This was hard on my parents and caused a lot of disappointment overall. Wrestling was hard and that freshman year wrestling was up to that point the hardest thing I had ever done. I wanted a break. So I hung out with the kids that didn’t do sports. But after that year I realized I wanted to go back to sports because all the other group did was hang out in a basement, smoke, shoot pool and complain.

That was a wise decision as I believe they’re still doing the same thing at 42. Wrestling junior and senior year worked out really well. I had gotten a girlfriend, got better at wrestling and can say I enjoyed myself very much.

In Dazed and Confused they have a “party at the Moontower.” This reminded me of the fun of high school parties. You see your buddies, have beer and there are girls! That is all a young man needs to enjoy himself at that point in his life. At 42 you can still have the beer but the thrill is gone and you can’t go on the hunt for girls anymore. :-).

Well, I imagine they will turn the lights on here soon and serve breakfast so I’m going to pack up. I don’t know if I should watch Caddyshack or listen to music, or perhaps try to rest my eyes a little.

I cannot wait until we land, and I get to go have some fun with Brandon in Tokyo. Thank God there wasn’t any further delay with the airplane, that would have really ruined everything. Maybe I’ll listen to music and do a little daydreaming of all the possibilities that tonight could bring.

Categorized as Journal

By 魔手

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/