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Dr John Hawkins

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Travelling back to Japan

Posted on 2005/07/17 01:53:07 (July 2005).

[Thursday 14th July]
I was up before 6, and after a short tussle with a giant spider which I suspect may have crawled into my bags in America, I checked out of my hotel and got the coach to Heathrow. I was flying KLM again, which meant I started off with a short connecting flight and the now familiar change in Amsterdam. I employed a bit of boyish charm when I checked in, and managed to get myself excellent seats on both flights - with loads of legroom. In fairness I doubt there were that many other passengers who would be racking up about 35 hours in the air during that week, so it wasn't entirely unjustified to imply that I was at an increased risk of getting DVT. So the first flight from London to Amsterdam was over in a flash as always. The second flight was, well, OK I suppose - it could have been much worse. Having a decent amount of legroom was a big plus. On the downside it wasn't one of those planes with video on demand - there were just the usual big screens in the ceiling. The films were really awful too - Million Dollar Baby, which had also been on the flight to Seattle; some Japanese film I'd never heard of; and the Phantom of the Opera - none of these even remotely my cup of tea. The food was remarkably bad as well - my main meal being an indescribable goo, the only word I can think of to fit it being "slurry". Still, I had a couple of good books - I finished off Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure, and started Danny Wallace's Yes Man. The first of these two being particularly appropriate as it involved Dave getting on a lot of planes, and, superbly, going to Seattle - twice. I also managed to find someone to talk to for a while - even though my immediate neighbours were Japanese and didn't seem to speak any English - at the back of the plane I found a fellow insomniac staring out of the window, and we had a nice chat about Japan, anthropology, and monkeys. So I guess all in all I mustn't grumble - yes the food and the entertainment were awful, but still the time seemed to go relatively quickly (compared to previous flights to Japan).

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