Thursday, May 22, 2008
Home Sweet Home!
After many ordeals and almost 24 hours of travel, I finally arrived back to a very pleasant land of the rising sun. The French managed to catch me off guard as well and treat me to a pretty nasty food poisoning and only due to some small mistake on their part in dosing and my great stamina managed to make the flight endurable and avoid commuting to the nasty airplane toilets.
As a Salaryman, I have done some quite extensive travel around the world and sampled many of the major airports in the world and I have to say that Narita is very close to being the worst international airport in the world (ok, Heathrow wasn't designed by geniuses either...). Ok, it's no big issue when you're arriving to the country, but the layout of the airport is pretty horrible and makes for a pretty boring time when departing with no good restaurants and shops scattered all around the airport making for long walks back and forth if you remember you want to get something. Give me Copenhagen or Hong Kong anytime!
Something that seems to have stirred up a lot of emotions among foreigners in Japan lately is the new immigration proceedure where fingerprints and photographs of all foreigners entering Japan is required, including visa holders (like yours truly). Also that previously, visa holders were allowed to stand in the same line as Japanese passport holders but have now been separated out into a different que making for three ques at the immigration with Japanese passport holders, tourists and longer term residents with visa. I have no problems with this in any way, in fact, separating the ques has without doubt made the longer term residents que the fastest since only a few people on each plane holds this status so I was out of immigration in a breeze, watching the tourists and Japanese stand like cattle in long ques waiting to get out in freedom after a 12 hour flight.
Anyway, I'm back here now and that is what's important! I apologize for the lack of updates due to overally business and some sketchy Internet connections at some hotels I stayed at, but I got some posts loaded up so expect some frequent updates for a bit.
(Oh, and yeah, the picture is the official mascot of Narita airport... I can't explain what happened there, the Japanese are generally masters in designing cute and funny mascots for anything you can imagine but something went terrible wrong here when designing "Kuutan"...)