I am writing this one on the plane. Its dark, I can’t sleep and I’ve been awake 19 hours so far. I think its Monday still (11.34pm) in the UK, but where I am its somewhere between 6-8am. If you’re interested, ‘where I am’ is just south of Siberia. I shit you not. I have no idea which time zone we are in – but think its about 8.30am in Tokyo currently. We land at 11.20am so a few hours left to go.
Knowing my luck i’ll end up falling asleep just before we land. I always do!!
Right on with today – its been quite stressful, hence the grump. We set alarms for 5 – which is where I left you last – and thankfully they worked, we were up and ready to go at 5.45, with a 10 minute walk to bag drop. So far so good.
Bag drop looms… and the queue. I’ve never seen anything like it. Bear in mind our flight is 7.25am, we’d checked in online so had 45 minutes to do bag drop before it shut at 6.40. No problem – plenty of time. Apparently not… their systems had gone down, and they had one person on the counter. One person. And a queue of people where some had been there a good hour longer than us and were barely moving.
So being very British we waited patiently (I’ll not mention the moment Adam put his hand in the air to say we were flying to Milan… we were flying to Rome. They ran over to rush us through as a false alarm. Awkward. Turtle), with loads of other people on the same flight.
6.30 comes and goes. We’ve moved a few metres.
6.45 comes and goes – people are starting to panic. At this point they decide to get some more staff (well done Alitalia) and we start moving. 7am on the dot we hit the counter. They want to see return flights (really I am off for 15 weeks love, i’d have a damn novel if i’d printed everything out!!) and were generally vague when I asked if it possible to get on a plane leaving in 24 minutes.
Check in done (again), bags dropped off (adams though the special gate – I really hope thats on the carousel when we get to Narita. Jesus I hope they are both there… argh!!) we sprinted to the departures bit. To scan in and be told by the machine that the flight is closed. Thankfully there were about 20 other people in the situation – so we run back and get taken through the scanner in a new line.
However, you can not bypass the security line. Nope. And those security officers can be arseholes on a power trip – some poor chinese guy tried to nicely explain the sitation and this officer just went off on one about them turning up on time next time…
Anyways we make it through security at 7.21. Squeaky bum time was some time ago. We legged it to the gate thinking that maybe we’d hit it spot on and they’d still let us on, which they did, as well as the 15 or so people still behind us.
I have never ever been so stressed travelling. Tense doesn’t even cover it.
So with no water, no face mask (ha I’m not even joking – ive read so many blogs about this being a great tip i thought i’d give it a go), no magazines and no trundle around duty free we were on the plane. Hurrah! 2hours and 15 minutes to Rome. Fairly uneventful. Adam had a pastry. I read some of my book. Was quite impressed by the plane. Adam was less impressed by the apple slices i’d brought as snacks. MMM dry apple.
OH NOW I THINK OF IT! I’d totally blocked this out – when we got on the plane there was a really strange noise, like someone screaming constantly – but in the same tone. I thought it was an alarm – nope – it was someone hyperventilating. Occasionally you’d hear a terrfied and repetitve ‘OMG IM FLYING’ between the gasps. Poor guy. We didn’t see them, but not sure if they left / were removed before they shut the doors but it did stop all of a sudden. Maybe someone drugged him?
I’ve made a new discovery as well – ear planes. For anyone who gets extreme pain in their ears when flying – these plugs are pretty good. Adams noise cancelling headphones are better but I think for £8 these were worth it in a pinch. I was also pleased with my choice of laptop, turns out its great for reading as well as writing!
We made it to Rome only a bit late, and we had a four hour layover, so no problem. Our bags were (hopefully) going straight through – so we just went to transfers and pottered around the gates, charged phones etc. Had lunch.
This was a fail – as we discovered later that our gate was on a shuttle link and had a massive selection of food. So Adam went again to make sure he managed pizza in Italy. They had way nicer shops as well there.
Gate called, on board 10 mins late, but they ended up waiting for a flight from Barcelona so left 45 minutes late in the end. Not really having much luck really. Also – and the Buda-buda crew will appreciate this – WHY DO PEOPLE QUEUE TO GET ON A PLANE?! ITS ALLOCATED SEATING! #travelhatred
Plane number 2…
The plane is fine – my diabetic dinner was actually pretty good (beef and brocolli) for plane food – Adam had pasta which he liked. Watched a few films. (Dad – maze runner 2 – those zombies are well grim!)
So at this stage with 11887miles to go to Tokyo, 2 hours and 21 minutes thats our day so far. Fingers crossed the bags will be there, the train pass place will be easy to find and our wifi dongle will be at the post office.
I might try get a bit of kip now.