I have such little faith in airport sushi that I’m looking for a cheeseburger.

Narita Airport, Tokyo

Wow. Well, that wasn’t fun. I had completely forgotten how awful those long flights can be, and I have a six hour plus trip down to Singapore to go. Narita is such a weird airport; for one thing it runs completely counter to the rest of Japan in its insistence on being really, really crappy. Also, and this is key when coming off a twelve hour flight offering little but variations on curried chicken, and bizarrely, ramen (so United, you don’t think you’re going to burn someone and get sued? Really?), Narita refuses to get in line with other East Asian airports and have prominent space for an American fast food place that does no business but allows me and three other white people to get cheap food without having to queue.

The food is obviously going to be a highpoint on this trip, but right now all I want is a cheeseburger. The whole experience is odd. I’d completely forgotten the different approaches in East Asia to personal space. My completely culturally insignificant ‘manners’ are letting me down badly here, as I politely trot behind someone taking up an entire corridor with their stuff, thus frustrating the Japanese and Chinese behind me who would just blast through said luggage. It wouldn’t be rude, either. I’m the one ruining it for everyone. What else is new?

Natasha Richardson’s fate, and the fact I care, is making the whole experience rather surreal. I can’t believe I’m back here after so long. This is going to be difficult. This is going to be fun.


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