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Tokyo to London

Posted on 2013/06/16 22:19:53 (June 2013).

[Sunday 9th June 2013]
Flew from Tokyo back to London today. I was a bit grumpy for some of the flight. I think I got off on the wrong foot at check-in, where I asked the woman behind the desk a question, and she responded in Japanese to Chie as though I wasn't there. This rude habit is quite common in Japan, but I would expect better of a member of staff of a British airline who must deal with non-Japanese customers every day. Once on the flight I continued to be annoyed by lots of different things - Premium Economy was packed as always, despite the economy section having lots of spare seats. Whilst premium has more leg room, wider seats etc, what I really want is to be as far away from the other people on the plane as possible, and on all last two round trips to Japan economy has seemed like a better bet from that point of view. Of course you can't really know that when you book, and a packed economy cabin would be the absolute worst case scenario.

The food was disappointing too. I've given up ordering a special vegetarian meal because I have a suspicion I end up with the same food I would have eaten in economy, and there's always a vegetarian option on the standard menu in premium on Virgin. This time though the only starter on the meny was something with prawns in - I asked if they had something else, and they told me I should order a special vegetarian meal if I'm a vegetarian. So why is there always a vegetarian option on the standard menu then?

I also became more grumpy on being asked to close my window blind, so I then had to sit in a cabin which was both dark as well as overcrowded. I really don't understand how people sleep on planes in general, but in particular the Tokyo to London flights we get are daytime flights - they usually leave Tokyo around midday, and land around 4pm (which is midnight in Tokyo). It doesn't make any sense to be asleep during the time of this flight.

We landed around 4pm, and got home around 6pm - a good half an hour of that was spent waiting in the queue for immigration - even for people with UK passports it is still ridiculously long at Heathrow.

Comment 1

That Japanese habit can be quite tiresome.

After four years of living in Japan, I'm trying to get 'into' learning Japanese and then be able to do all the "man type" stuff of being the default person to order food, buy tickets, pay for stuff etc. etc. when Miyuki and I go out.

I must admit I'd become very lazy in doing all of these things, as Miyuki started doing all of it when we arrived because my Japanese was, well, crap.

Now that I'm trying to make a bit-of-an-effort, it's bloody annoying when I do my best to engage the staff of an establishment, who then try to continue the conversation with Miyuki.
Sometimes Miyuki will deliberately keep silent and look back at me in an attempt to force them to address me. Most of the time that works.

It doesn't happen everywhere though. Interestingly, in my experience it seems to happen more in upper market places than the run-of-the-mill economy diners.

Most of our local shops and eateries now know me quite well and speak directly to me without any hesitation.
It's a start.

Posted by Jerry at 2013/06/27 02:37:58.

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