Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Trip Home

What a chore getting home. The trip started off well enough. After spending the night at Airport City with a friend (Yes it is really called airport City) I got to the airport 3 hours before my flight.

I had lots of time, which I needed, to get checked in and through security. My only complaint about Incheon was that they need the AC on. Lots of people in the place. At least a fan blowing air would have been nice. But it isn't summer in Korea yet so they don't like to use the AC. I was able to send good bye messages and make some phone calls while waiting for my flight.

My flight boarded on time and all seemed well. Until I got to Narita airport. Then I found out my flight was being delayed an hour. Ok so a 4 hour layover instead of a 3 hour.

I usually like Narita airport. You can shower for $5. It is fairly comfy. In one terminal, but not mine, there is free internet. However if you need to change money or get information it is not that helpful. There is only ONE money exchange booth and 2 information booths. Of course I went the wrong way, all the way to the other end of the terminal to find that I should have gone the other way. My gate was basically in the middle. I was wiped when I finally got back to my gate.

Why was I tired? Well, I have an infection in my legs. On a good day they are swollen. Any day with a lot of standing/walking is a bad day. (Hopefully it will be out of my system soon.) Add to that travelling in a plane and not being able to prop my feet up ... well you get the diea. Pain sweats are stinky.

I cleaned myself up. Put on clean clothes. Deodorized. I always bring extra clothes with me just in case my luggage is lost of I need a change. When traveling 18+ hours in 3 planes and hoofing around terminals a change of clothes is a good diea. Especially if you don't want to be the stinky seatmate.

I got back to my gate to see that my flight was delayed another hour. Food at Narita, well everything at Narita, is EXPENSIVE. A sushi plate that would have cost me 8,000 Won ($7) at my favourite noodle shop cost me about $20 at Narita. At the noodle shop it comes with 3-4 sides and miso soup. At narita just the sushi. God damn. But I was hungry. A 500 ml bottle of water cost 1400 Won.

My flight finally boarded. There was an empty seat between me and the other person in my row. I was able to prop my left leg a little. Unfortunately we were pretty much surrounded by people with kids. In front of me they had a 1 year old and 5 year old. Across from that row was another baby. Acorss from my row was another baby. Behind that row was anothe one.

Jesus H. Christ. One of the kids traveled well. The others ... didn't. And the 5 year old in front was a whiney thing. Mind you her father was an ass too. He actually let the 1 year old CRAWL on the floor and at one point play with an empty wine bottle. Flight staff said/did nothing even thoguh they saw it several times. I barely slept on the flight thanks to the rotating crying schedule of the babies.

We landed in Toronto at the same time I was supposed to be landing at home. I got through Immigration and Customs quickly with no problems. They were very polite and efficient. I had to go through security AGAIN to get to my gate. My legs were hurting a lot. A security guard asked if I was ok. I mentioned my legs. He got me an electric cart to take me to my gate. (Good thing too because it was at the other end of the terminal and my flight was just getting ready to board.) I just had enough time to call home and get no one, then call my brother and let him know my changes. Then it was right onto the plane and takeoff.

Air Canada. Gah! I haven't flown on them for 4 years. I made it a point to avoid them. But it was the cheapest fare and I wasn't buying the ticket. The international leg isn't that bad it is when you are flying within Canada that they REALLY start to suck. If you want a pillow or blanket they are $3 each. If you want ear phones to use the entertainment system it is $3. If you want to eat you have to pay. At this point I was ready to pay but now they ONLY take credit cards! What the kimchi?!?!? errr I mean What the Maple Syrup?!?!? What a bunch of cheap bastards.

The cabin was a little stuffy and my sinuses were starting to bother me. Thanks to that I couldn't really sleep on the flight home. I made it though. Luckily the pilots knew how important hearing about the Montreal vs Pittsburgh game was. They kept us updated during the flight. (I would have been home in time for the last 2 periods if it hadn't been for the delay.) Montreal beat Pittsburgh 4-3 forcing a 7th and final game!!!! Go Habs Go!!!

No one was waiting for me. I figured mom was waiting outside in the car. As I waited for my luggage one of my brothers showed up. It was nice to see him.

Stepping outside it was a typical spring night. Cool and misty. The air was soooo crisp and so much cleaner. It felt good to breathe it in.

A 20 min drive and I was home. Ready to unwind and sleep.

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