Monday, November 8, 2010

In Transit

The flight from Dallas to Japan was long. So long, I started writing a morbid entry about experiments simulating jet lag on rats that didn't end well for the rats. On the other hand, I was really glad to have P's company. It's nice to be able to share your thoughts as they occur. The cross-pond flights get pretty lonely, and I just sleep/work through them.

I'm still digesting my thoughts of what I've seen in Japan. Aside from the tasty food (even from the convenience store in the hotel), I'm most impressed that everything works - everything in the airport to our inexpensive transit hotel. Nothing was broken. At home, there are usually little things that break or are in need of repair. Perhaps we'll see more broken things when we return to Tokyo on the way back.

Back to the long transit. We're going to the wakatobi Dive Resort, on a remote part of Indonesia. Our journey consists of a flight to Narita (with an overnight), then Bali (with another overnight) and finally a turbo-prop to Sulawesi. I call out the turbo-prop since I hate small planes with a vengeance. I may fly a lot on jet planes, but small planes just make me nervous. I've been dreading the 4 hours on the turbo-prop more than the long haul to Japan.

Speaking of long haul flights, I just had the best experience on one. Garuda Airlines has immigration on the flight from Tokyo to Bali. Instead of waiting in a long line once you arrive to get the passport stamp - immigration officers are on board to review your passport and papers while you're sitting around on the long flight. It's such a distinctive offering that it creates a preference for Garuda Airlines over other carriers to Indonesia. (Also, they gave us ice cream before landing!)


Arrived at the hotel in Bali. The rest of the group doesn't sleep on planes, so they crashed. I'm still jetlagged, so I'm wide awake. Went to the gym (which probably didn't help), ran a few miles (I really need to get back into running!), and now I'm trying to figure out what else I can do.

One strange thing that I noticed - the hallways here at the hotel (a swank Holiday Inn) smell just like the hallways of the EQ (Equatorial) in Penang. It's something combined with the ocean air and the 95% humidity - it's a smell you don't get in the Caribbean though.

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