Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Plane Ride Back

I am now back in the US. I flew back home on March 22nd. Yeah... that's over a month ago... :P I'm slow to update now.

I took the Keisei Skyliner to Narita Airport early that afternoon. It was pretty uneventful and I didn't have too hard of a time lugging around two suitcases because it wasn't very crowded.

After I showed my passport to some guy to enter the airport I continued walking but was soon stopped by a policeman who wanted me to show him my passport. He then took some of my information. I had no idea what was going on. It was very strange. As I was walking away I realized I had given him an incorrect phone number because my phone number in Japan was very similar to my phone number in the US. Haha, oh well.

I then made my way to the check-in counter. However, when they weighed my suitcases, one of them was way over the weight limit. So then I had to go to the side and switch things out. It was a bit frustrating because I had worked hard to pack everything pretty nicely. I also had to put more into my carry-on backpack and I hate heavy backpacks. But at least I was able to make everything work. :)

Then I went through security (the line was very short, yay!), found my gate, and then wandered around for a bit. I had seen something about an origami museum on a sign so I looked for that. 

It was more like a store with some displays than a formal museum, but it was very cool! The origami displays were so intricate!

I wanted to walk around and look in stores a little more, but my backpack was hurting me a little bit so I went back to the gate. Eventually though I got a little hungry and headed to McDonald's for one last meal in Japan. I had a couple pieces of Shaka Shaka chicken (I miss that stuff!) and a strawberry sundae.

I don't remember a whole lot about waiting for my flight. It didn't seem like I had to wait that long even though I had gotten to the airport about 4 hours before my flight because I wasn't sure if the trains would be on schedule or not.

The flight took off around 6 PM. I arrived in Chicago a little after 3 PM the same day. I arrived in the US before I even left Japan. So weird! At Narita I saw the sun set. When I was on the plane I saw the sun rise a few hours later. Then in Chicago I saw the sun set again.

As soon as I was on the plane I started feeling like I was back in the US and it was weird. Most of the other passengers were American and the flight attendants were American as well. 

The flight itself actually wasn't that bad even though it was over an 11 hour flight. Even though I was initially disappointed when I saw we didn't have personal screens on the back of each seat, I was okay. I kept entertained with my DS, a magazine, and my ipod. Plus, it helped that they brought snacks and food fairly often. I partially watched one of the in-flight movies. It was The King's Speech and it was very boring. I kinda dozed off (but not really sleeping) during parts of it. I've heard a several people say they liked it, but I was really bored.

I never got super restless like I usually do on long flights. I started to get a little restless right before  they brought "breakfast" about an hour and a half before landing. But then the girl next to me and I started talking (she had been asleep most of the time) and she had also been a teacher in Japan. She lived right outside the area that had been evacuated because of the nuclear plant and her company had given her some time off so she was going back home to visit. We had a lot of interesting things to talk about and the last little bit of the plane ride went by quickly. When the plane hit the ground we were a bit startled because we hadn't realized that we were about to land!

It was so strange in Chicago airport. I really started to notice the difference between Japan and America when I went through security. The people working were like yelling instructions and stuff. They kinda did that in Japan but it just sounded nicer and more polite there. In Chicago they just seemed angry or something.

When I bought some snacks at a store the cashier barely acknowledged me. She rang me up while continuing to chat with her coworker about what she was doing after work. I never had anything like that happen in Japan.

Also, I realized that US airports are more of a ripoff than Japanese ones. In Chicago I bought a bottle of cranberry juice for like $3.50. So expensive! In Narita I had bought a bottle of Mitsuya Cider for 150 yen, which was the same price it was everywhere.

Anyways... I found my gate but was soon moved to another gate and then another. Weather was messing up a lot of flights that day. My flight to Nashville was supposed to leave at 6:44 but it was delayed about 4 hours so I didn't get to Nasvhille until a litter after midnight. So instead of going home to Owensboro that night my family and I stayed in a hotel in Nashville. The hotel room was really big! It was bigger than any hotel room I've ever stayed in in the US, and it was wayyyyy bigger than the Toyoko Inn hotel rooms I had stayed in the past few nights.

I've kept pretty busy this past month. I have a few interesting things to post about that are related to Japan, so there are a couple more posts to come, but after that I guess this blog will be over. :(


  1. Thanks so much for this blog; I love it! I would be happy to read "Jenna outside of Japan" too, you know. :)

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