Soko kino, koko kyo (there yesterday, here today)

My room at the Y Hotel

My trip from Canada to Australia was uneventful. The skies were clear as I flew out of the Edmonton airport, and my connection in Vancouver was perfectly timed. I flew Japan Airlines from Vancouver to Tokyo, and despite not having a clue what the flight attendants were saying, I was very impressed with the service and their attempts to communicate with me.

The flight was 10 hours, but I had no one sitting next to me, so I could stretch out a bit, as much as one can on an airplane. I used the time to get caught up on a few movies I’d been wanting to see. Am I a Tom Cruise fan? Not so much. But I can see why critics compared his performance in Knight and Day to his Top Gun success. Though Memory warned me Sex and the City 2 had more cringeworthy moments than not, I decided to give it a go. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I suppose I had nowhere else to be and the movie was free, so I took what I could get. And despite my best efforts to stay awake, I spent much of the flight sleeping.

I was nervous to land at the Narita airport, imagining something akin to the chaos of LAX, except without a word of English anywhere. My fears, thankfully, were unfounded. The airport was spacious, the people respectful, and the signs in both Japanese and English. My stopover was about six hours, so I looked into staying at the Japan Airlines lounge, but ultimately decided to save my $50 and sleep on an airport bench, using my purse as a pillow.

My body must have needed the rest, because I slept the entire six hours of my stopover, and then another eight on the flight from Tokyo to Sydney. By the time I disembarked the plane at 8 a.m. on November 2nd (I’d lost a day somewhere along the way), I felt refreshed and ready to start my new adventure. But first I was dying to know, did my luggage arrive with me?

After an orderly pass through the customs lineup, I was overjoyed to find my suitcase already waiting for me on the luggage conveyor belt, and I was out of the airport in no time.

Then came the ride from the airport to my hotel. It was what could only be described as harrowing. I’d forgotten how aggressive Australian drivers were, and even though my intellect knew they were supposed to drive on the “wrong” side of the road, my heart still skipped a beat as we weaved in and out of traffic and turned this way and that down random streets.

I booked in to stay at the Y Hotel Park, which offered budget hotel accommodations for backpackers, and it’s…how to put it? A bit more run down than I remembered from my last stay. It’s still a step up from some of the hostels I’ve stayed in during my travels, so I’m not complaining, but I do have to admit, I’m already missing the Sheraton lifestyle.


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