Wednesday, November 14

I'm back on Guam

The plane touched down a little after 1 a.m. this morning and I was asleep in my own bed by 2 a.m. Travel went smoothly. It was 11 hours between San Francisco and Tokyo -- enough time to read a lot and watch a few movies. I enjoyed Transformers and thought that Hair Spray was a fun flick.

Generally speaking I'm not bothered by airline food. You just know that it's not going to be gourmet -- although at times I've been pleasantly surprised. However, the food on the Northwest Airlines flight to Tokyo made the mystery meat that they served in the elementary school cafeteria look like gourmet. I was glad that I eaten before getting on board.

One change that I noticed from the last time we were in transit through Narita is that there are fewer white gloves. When we went through in October of 2005 everyone who wore any kind of uniform seemed to have white gloves but this time only the security screeners handling luggage and the man rounding up luggage carts had white gloves. All the Japanese workers looked a lot more relaxed.

Another change at Narita is that more of the terminals are now open and they have large screen TVs in the waiting areas. I watched sumo wrestlers for some of my 3 hour layover.

Most of the people on the the flight between Narita and Guam were Japanese tourists. There was one other white person, an older woman, and an older Chamorro man on the 747. The rest were all Japanese tourists coming for their four day vacations -- most are fairly young. Surprisingly, there were quite a few children.

Travel time between Narita and Guam is 3 hours and 10 minutes. Most of that was spent taxing to the runway at Narita. I've never been to an airport with so many twists and turns on the tarmac. Fortunately, I didn't get car sick. :-)

It is amazing, though, that you can get halfway around the world in under 24 hours. The inconveniences that we put up with to travel are really minor in the overall scheme of things.

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