I took to the skies Sunday. Underestimated the impact of the construction induced traffic at LAX – brutal. Ken had the clever idea of dropping me at international arrivals instead of departures. It gave me a head start which I needed since I discovered shortly after that United international flights are through their Terminal 7. Has to hustle with my backpack 4 terminals. Luckily, I got the weight down to 15 lbs.
Smooth sailing through security and I made it. Boarded the 787 Dreamliner headed for Bangkok by way of Tokyo.. Roomy plane, lots of headroom, mood lighting economy plus bulkhead seat not bad for the first 12 hours. The additional 6 to Bangkok made this semi-claustrophobic a bit antsy (understatement). Of course, I’d already been up over 24 hours so sleep deprivation factored in too…When are they going to put spin bikes on these things?
Impression 1: All Nippon stewardness – Extremely considerate and attentive Asian porcelain dolls who never stop smiling. They are genuinely interested in helping you. At one point, a stewardness noticed I was getting sun glare from the windows of a couple other passengers. Without me saying a word, she took care of it. And when I say “never stop smiling”, I mean genuinely smiling for 6 hours straight! Good foreshadowing for the land of smiles. (This in stark contrast to the United American staffed flight from LAX to Tokyo. Should have taken their picture for you.
Impression 2: So not having slept yet, I was a bit delirious when I ordered my entre. Seafood –on a plane, what was I thinking? Wasn’t really hungry, maybe I’d just inspect it…Guess, what? It was great! Sweet shrimp, crab morsels, a robust round clam thing, mushrooms, squid and some porous veggie.
Impression 3: Speaking of considerate, an elderly gentlemen helped me get my bags out of the overhead when we landed. (I wasn’t struggling or looking for help, he simply lent a considerate hand.)
Impression 4: Admist the sea of people in the bustling airport, I noticed a conscientious Thai youth go out of his way to pick up an empty chip bag that was in the middle of the concourse. (Not his.) Wow and bravo.
Impression 5: OUCH!
This is the raised room divider between the bathroom and the bedroom of my hotel room. (Apparently, it’s very common in Asia to have this height anomaly. This is my bruised toe after several run-ins due to sleep deprivation and related cognitive incapacity.