Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Gaijin

Ohayou gozaimasu! Kyo-o ha kirei desu ne. Watashi mo desu yo. Charing!

I'm here in Japan with nothing but a thin layer of tangled mesh of cotton, denim and flesh that is left of my butt. It is a four hour journey not to mention the trip from Davao to Manila and the hours of listening to the paging system and waiting for familiar names and for someone to shout "bingo!". I hate long trips especially on a gloomy weather; no rainbows, no clouds or animals pretending to be clouds. I was left with no choice but to sleep throughout the entire flight and wake up in heaven in case of a crash landing.

For a moment, I thought I saw an angel. But unfortunately, it was only the flight attendant wiping the drool off my mouth and waking me up for the complimentary dinner. They were serving real food - bread and butter, fish and pasta, salad,tiramisu, mangue seche, oolong and a wet tissue to rid the tongue of any aftertaste. It was a nice experience compared to domestic flights where they hand out Harvest pineapple juice on an empty stomach; neither a scone nor a piece of Halls candy to come with it. It was a hearty meal and I cursed and punched my stomach for settling on a lunch that tasted like a 100 peso bill (a coin would have tasted better). Across the aisle, a baby belted out a powerful aria and the father only made matters worse by making faces. I asked the stewardess (who I think is 10 years younger my grandmother) for a blanket which I intended to cover the baby with. But the cabin got colder, so I covered myself with the blanket and drowned the hubbub with hiphop music that was playing on the radio.

My sleep was interrupted by the periodic "this is your captain speaking..." and we were informed that we're going to land any moment. I decided to stay awake and wait until we were able to alight the aircraft safely. The airport did not impress me. Days before the actual departure, I envisioned levitating robots carrying my luggage for me and speaking a more intelligible language than their makers. I expected to see Asimo waiting in the immigration lobby for the welcoming the travellers. But it was a sick immigration officer that welcomed us and put us on hold while they figured out the meaning of the word "aunt".

They let us go after 10minutes and we descended to get our baggage. The customs officer, after giving me a curious smile, seemed very pleased to see an ancient relic I was holding in my hand. My grandmother, still shocked from the turbulence and air pockets, smiled back.

"Now it's time to meet hello kitty!" Upon hearing that, my grandma woke up from her stupor and we rushed toward the door.

1 comment:

  1. haha how does it feel to be a gaijin? zenzen wakarimasen ka? hihi. i agree, dehins ganun kaganda ang airport ng nihon. compared to singapore, olats ito. mao gyud imo una napansin no? arkitek gyud ka. pagpost na ug pics beh! being busy is not an excuse!