Saturday, September 02, 2006

I think I'm turning Japanese (I really think so)

So, we've landed in Osaka after about a twelve hour flight that took us over Canada, Hudson Bay, Alaska, and the greater part of Japan. I'm sitting at an "e stand", trying to type on a Japanese keyboard (where are the quotation marks?).

The flight could have been worse, especially considering my current contempt for flying. I spent a lot of time reading (Mindstorms by Seymour Papert), doing Sudoku puzzles, and listening to music. I even sat through Inside Man (sorry Spike, me no like) and a crappy Lindsey Lohan movie (I'm gonna pretend that I don't remember the name of it).

The in-flight culinary experience was decent; they served dinner, a snack, and breakfast. The dinner consisted of chicken in BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, a salad, shrimp cocktail, a dinner roll, and a tall, cold Budweiser (what would an international flight be without a little buzz?). The snack was just a turkey sandwich and a Twix bar. Breakfast, served at the end of our flight, was a Swiss cheese omlette, sausage, potatoes, fruit, OJ, a muffin, and some tea. Mmmm . . . jealous? Don`t be. I`m hoping for more interesting gustatory experiences in the next 9 days.

Our brush with Japan is proving quite fascinating. Here are some pictures from inside Kansai airport in Osaka. I especially like the Kansai mascot. I'll have to take another trip to Japan to explore more someday. Anyone else interested?

Thanks for your comments so far. It's really encouraging. I hope that I can bring you every excruciating detail (like the in-flight menu) throughout the trip. Gotta fly to Taipei!

Wangs on a Plane!

Our journey is underway. We are currently sitting in Wayne County airport in Detroit, Michigan. Having just filled out stomachs with some airport-quality sushi, we have settled down at our gate, with approximately two hours to departure (3:30PM EDT). While I have some downtime (and an outlet to plug my laptop into), let me catch you up on my progress . . .

Yesterday afternoon, after some last minute shopping and packing, I hopped in a car service cab (note: form of transportation #1) to JFK to catch my 5:30PM flight to Minneapolis.

The flight presented little difficulty, despite some ear-popping issues and a frustrating wait at the luggage claim. Mom greeted me with a traditionally long welcome-back hug and we headed for the car.

Although I was only scheduled to be in Minnesota for a little less than 10 hours, I managed to squeeze in some fun. On our way back from the airport, we stopped at the Minnesota State Fair, a yearly staple of my childhood. We met up with Ange, Christian, JT, Isabel, Myles, and Carl outside the Grandstand and proceeded to consume our monthly intake of fried food. One corndog, bucket of cookies, tub of fries, beer, reuben sandwich, plate of garlic fries, fried shrimp skewer, and vanilla cream puff later, it was time to go.

I learned from Mom that this short detour has some significance to my current trip. When I was one year old, my grandparents came from Taiwan to visit me. My grandmother helped take care of me during this time, and consequently has a special connection with me as her grandchild. While they were visiting Minnesota, almost 23 years ago to the day, they went to the State Fair. Something tells me their Taiwanese sensibility steered them clear of the deep-fried cheese curds.

Upon leaving the fair, I spent some time with Ange in St. Paul, then headed home for a couple of hours of sleep before leaving at 5:00AM CDT for the airport.

Dad and I checked in, passed through security (liquid-less), got some coffee, and wandered to the gate. Our first flight, from Minneapolis to Chicago, took a little less than an hour, and we turned around and took the same plane to Detroit, where we currently stand . . . well actually sleep.Here’s where were going to be spending the next 16+ hours (Detroit to Osaka to Taipei):

Next stop: Taiwan! Blog you then.