Traveling ain't the best job in the world

I've spent most of the day (my only free day in Tokyo!) indoors, thanks to a flu I caught. I went to bed yesterday around eight o'clock, feeling pretty tired. Of course, about five people called or SMSd me, either to try and drag me to have a beer, or asking, if I could bring them a PSP, or a Sony LibriƩ or both. And games. And food. And DVD's.

My plan was to wake up at 4.45 to go to the Tsukiji Fish Market to get a fresh sushi breakfast and then get to Yodobashi Kamera for shopping, but after tossing and turning most of the night, not getting any sleep as I shivered and sweated alternatively, I simply had to give up. As I finally woke up, it was about 2 pm, and I was feeling like shit. The bed is not the most comfortable in the world, so my back ached. Along with a splitting headache that pretty much made me unable to do anything but soak in a bath for a while and go back to bed.

It wasn't until eight pm, that I managed to get myself out of the door to get some soba and to buy some candy from a neighbourhood shop, feeling generally woozy. So, I ain't gonna be bringing twenty kilos of electronics from this trip; sorry everyone.

Traveling induces stress. A four-day stretch of business meetings requires you to be mentally alert, and the evening programs tend to be taxing to your physique. When you add jet lag (which is worse flying east, at least for me), and three-to-four hours of sleep every night, you're pretty much a sitting duck for any sort of bugs, of which there are plenty in a city of 20+ milllion people, and many of which your immune system has never seen. On many occasions, you don't even have extra days; you just go from airport to hotel, hotel to meeting place, meeting place to hotel, hotel to airport... And after a while, you start to hope you were home more often, and then you start optimizing your flight schedules even more to minimize the amount of time you spend away from your loved ones.

Traveling is great, I love it. But it comes with a price.

Next to the Shinagawa station, a small band had set up their wares. I stopped by to listen, and gently swayed in the music (or maybe it was the fever) and for a moment, was transported elsewhere. The girl had a hauntingly beautiful voice, and she sang words that I could not understand, yet touched me. I got her CD, an autograph, and a smile.

Five am. wakeup tomorrow to get to the plane. Yay.

Then maybe New York again in two weeks.

Update: It hasn't gone exactly as planned. First of all, I have 38.4 degrees temperature and I am in Bangkok.

You see, the Finnair MD-11 tried takeoff from Osaka Kansai twice, and had an engine problem both times. So we ended up leisurely strolling back and forth the tarmac, from the gate to the takeoff area, and back to the gate for two-and-a-half hours, until the captain gave up and laconically told us that "this bird ain't flying nowhere today". After some slight abuse from business class passengers, I ended up on this slight detour from Osaka to Bangkok to Helsinki; to arrive on Sunday morning at 6 am, only 15 hours late of original schedule, with about a total of 30 hours travel.

Yay x 2.

(Though in all honesty I have to say that flying with Thai Airways is always nice; they seem to have more leg room than anyone else, the service seems a bit faster and the food is pretty decent for airplane food as well.)


Oh bugger. Forgot to ask you for that PB screenfilterthingie ;-)

--Burana, 13-May-2005


--Outi, 13-May-2005

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