Friday, June 12, 2015

I'm in Asia!

Thats right, Asia. Specifically the Philippines. Sometimes I sit back and think "Well how did this happen?" and this is one of those times. I'm here to teach a class in our office to new staff. It makes more sense to send me here than 8 folks to the US.

Thats the Boeing 787 Dreamliner I flew in from Boston to Tokyo. The picture is actually in Tokyo, I couldn't get a shot of the plane in Boston. The 787 is an amazing plane, its super quiet considering you're going through the air at .8 mach which is eight tenths of the speed of sound.

The windows are huge and dim electrically, notice that there is no shade, theres a 2 part button below each window. Push down and the window gets darker, push up and it gets clearer. The window never darkens completely but with it dimmed all the way it looks like night outside even when its bright and sunny. The flight from Boston to Tokyo chases the sun but with the shade dimmed I thought the sun was actually the moon...

I normally get a sandwich to carry on the plane with me. I screwed that up on this flight so I ate in the airport just before the flight. This turned out to be a mistake as a couple hours into the flight they served dinner. Pork tonkatsu with rice which was really good although I couldn't finish mine. It had a little salad, a little bowl of noodles, a dose of what I think was sweet potato, some coleslaw and a squishy green thing. Later on they brought Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Americone Dream which is one of my favorites.

The flight left at 1:30pm, dinner was around 3, at about 8pm they brought around pastries.

Normally this wouldn't be enough to warrant a picture (although it was a lot of food) but the pastry is a bit like a nissu back home with added lemon. Nissu is a Finnish coffee bread (the Swedes make it too but they use more sugar) with cardamon seeds that has a distinctive braided shape. In my family its not very sweet and is the perfect compliment to a cup of coffee. This pastry was similar in shape and texture although without cardamon and with lemon.

As much as I liked dinner I didn't care for breakfast. Canadian bacon and egg on an English muffin with onions. It was greasy and overly onion and I shouldn't have eaten it, I was re-tasting that for hours. Again with the coleslaw which apparently is a Japan Airlines thing, it came with every meal.

Tokyo is a nice airport that strangely reminds me of the '80s. Its kind of '80s brown with '80s blue carpet and kind of smells like I remember the '80s to smell like. I was pretty tired since I don't sleep well on planes and it was now around 1am for me. Interestingly I slept for an hour or two in the airport which I almost never do. When I awoke the plane was boarding which was a bit of a scare but it had only just started so no harm done.

From Tokyo to Manila I was in a daze. The 767 is a horrible plane with seats that are too small for me and my body was nearly at the edge of endurance. I'd gone running 2 days before after 9 months off and my body was sore. So poor life choices plus no legroom plus long travel makes Curt an unhappy traveler.  Dinner was "hamburger steak" which wasn't bad but lets face it its a hamburger. I did manage to get some sleep but not much and the seat was rock hard.

I got a second wind in time to get through customs which was almost shockingly easy. I wonder if thats because of the few years when the US owned the Philippines in the '40s.

I'll talk more about Manila and specifically Makati City where I'm staying in my next post.

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