29th of December 2014 16:05, day 2
Tokyo
Tokyo - and be careful what you wish for!

True to character, I've started the trip with being an airheaded, forgetful nitwit - and had a chance to recall how fitting the saying "be careful what you wish for" can be.

We land in Narita Airport after around 22 hours of travel. We leave the plane, and walk along seemingly endless corridors as we chase the "arrivals" sign. At this point, we haven't been outside for more than 24 hours. "I could really use some exercise about now", Hubris-Camilla boldly says to Jeppe as we approach the Immigration desks. Around the same time, we realise that we have to go online to find the address and name of our hotel, to fill out the immigration forms.

I reach into my backpack to get my computer, and find... nothing. Zero. Nil. Nada. Immediately, I get the lovely mental image of me placing my shiny and new laptop in the pouch on the seat in front of me.

So, the next half an hour passes quickly with me running full tilt back to the gate we came from - and a bit of running around at random as I had to find the gate in the first place. I didn't get there in time, they'd already shut the gate. However, I learned a few things:

  • Japanese airport security guards will approach you if you look panicked and sweaty
  • Japanese airport security guards are very friendly and helpful
  • You should never assume that a rolling sidewalk at standstill will move the way you need it to when you run onto it
  • If you have forgotten something on the flight, you really need to grab your boarding pass and bring it with you when you run back to the gate - that is, unless you really fancy a second sprint back to your boyfriend whom you've left everything with.

And curiously:

  • Narita Airport has sound cushioning flooring in place. They made my steps so quiet I felt like a ninja, until I started sweating and panting

I had to sit and wait while the stewardesses looked for my laptop, which meant I spent around 10 minutes dreaming up worst-case scenarios. So, when the pretty japanese stewardess came towards me with my laptop, the only thing that was missing was some epic victorious music. Especially as she changed from walking to a mini-run as soon as she spotted me, and I felt like I had to run towards her to meet her halfway. Lots of bowing, from her, and thanking and half-bowing, from me, commenced. I guess old aikido habits die hard. Lovely awkward moment and a heapful of stress to start the trip with.

Oh well, the positives far outweigh the negatives

  • I, yet again, got proof of how nice and helpful people really are. I would just like to test that hypothesis a little less... frequently
  • Free wi-fi to the rescue numerous times during our first 6 hours in Tokyo
  • Jeppe is lovely, humourous and patient, and didn't even tease me (much)
  • We're in Tokyo!