Not quite a ‘live’ blog of our journey to Japan…
0810: Chaos. Nothing new there. Shuttle bags downstairs.
0815: 2 friends arrive with cars to ferry us to the airport. We’re really making up for out greener-than-thou lifestyle today.
0830: Arrive at the airport. The storm in the night hasn’t shifted the mugginess.
0835: Find check in desk. There’s a new system: you have to print your own boarding card, this makes queue shorter and check in therefore faster. After ten minutes wrestling with computer, we print the cards. Go to check bags in.
0850: Reach front of long queue. Some confusion as we are booked to Nagoya but we’re getting off at Fukuoka, one stopover earlier. Much explanation. Queue grows even longer.
0900: Through security gate. Supervisor is father of Eldest son’s school friend. Place wallet, keys, belt, laptop etc, on machine and go through detector. Set off alarm. This time it is foil from a blister pack of paracetamol.
1048: Boarding for Amsterdam flight.
1105: Safety talk. Between the hangars I can see our village 5km away.
1115: Take off. Fly directly over a house where I worked. Now I know why they wanted thicker windows.
1200: Approaching Amsterdam. Fly directly over Rotterdam and the ferry to Hull.
1230: Land, trundle through airport to terminal, walk to other end of terminal for plane to Fukuoka.
1240: Passport control. When they realise Beautiful Wife is with me they pull the whole family into the ‘European’ line. Passport officer practices Japanese.
1330: Announcement: “If you want to, you can come through for boarding. Of course, you don’t have Otherwise you can stay here, no problem.” Through very strict and somewhat invasive security control.
1335: Realise we left our emergency calorie supply of chocolate and Muesli bars in the lounge. Back to lounge.
1336: Middle son waves bag at me from inside secure area. Go through very strict and somewhat invasive security control again.
1415: Board flight to Japan.
1420: Find seats.
1421: In wrong seats. Move.
1445: Plane starts taxiing
1505: Take off. 10 hours to Fukuoka.
1516: Headphones handed out. Everyone switches on their at-seat video system, which promptly crashes.
1530: Passenger in front puts chair in full recline.
1619: Lunch. Video system comes back online.
1734: Japanese immigration forms handed out.
1915: Drinks. Not terribly exciting but half way through a ten hour flight you take all the entertainment you can get.
2050: Go to the WC. See note above re: entertainment.
2100: still waiting outside. Wonder why people take so long. Decide I don’t really want to know.
2105: Person in toilet finally finished. Into WC.
2106: Out of WC.
2110: Ice cream. Much excitement.
2130: Actually fall asleep. This makes a change from the norm of being wide awake until touchdown then blearg for the next day.
2330: Breakfast. Crossing the Chinese coast.
0100: “Prepare for landing”
0128: Final Approach.
0140: Out of plane. It’s 0840 and blisteringly hot. Head for the low grade unpleasantness that is Japanese immigration.