Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting there is half the fun

I'm not much of a traveler. I've lived in NYC all my life, and have only been as far west as Pennsylvania, and as far south as North Carolina. Prior to my trip to Japan, I had been on a plane once (twice if you count the return flight) which was a family trip to Bermuda. It lasted two hours. I was 4 years old. I vaguely remember throwing up.

Apparently, air travel has changed a bit in the past 25 years since.

Several people said I was insane. A two hour flight with my family at age 4 is not quite as daunting as a 14 1/2 flight by myself to Japan. But, I've wanted to see Japan for most of my life, and since the subway doesn't go across the Pacific, my options were limited. Air travel it was. I did some research online on how to survive (not literally) a long flight. Later I researched online how to survive (quite literally) a long flight. Apparently there are situations where cannibalism is acceptable.

I did my homework as to what you can/can't bring on an airplane. Books are okay. Bombs are not. Books on how to build bombs...that's sort of a grey area. I invested in my very first handheld gaming device, a Nintendo DS, along with Final Fantasy Tactics and Chrono Trigger, a tactical RPG and an RPG, respectively. For those of you who aren't keen on the gaming lingo, "RPG" is a type of game that can easily suck countless hours from your life. Like a 'Saved By the Bell' marathon, only, y'know...enjoyable.

1pm Friday. Onto the flight! After saying my goodbyes at the airport, I boarded. Well, no. First I had to take off my shoes to prove I wasn't carrying any weapons, then I boarded. Window seat -- score! A Chinese man sat next to me, but quickly changed seats. Everyone on board was fortunate that less than half the seats were occupied after the final boarding call; people were able to spread out so that everyone had empty seats next to them. The captain introduced himself over the intercom (at least, I think that's what he was doing. The voice was so muffled, he could've been sharing his recipe for meatloaf). We took off, which was most impressive. I was awed, watching the world below get smaller and smaller; the landscape reminded me of a miniature train set my father and I worked on when I was a kid.

I forced myself to be awed for as long as possible. I knew the deal. 14 1/2 hours trapped in my seat, I needed to become a master of time. I needed to prolong things as much as possible. If I dipped into my bag of toys too soon, I risked being bored with far too many hours remaining on my flight. Unfortunately, we eventually reached a height where all I could see were clouds. Fun at first...but it's hard to be awed by clouds for more than 45 minutes. Luckily, our first meal was about to be served. Now, I've heard plenty of jokes about airline food, but...I enjoyed it. Not quite as good as an Ikea cafeteria (Ikea : adult Jeff :: Toys R Us : kid Jeff), but enjoyable. Then again, I live off Lean Pockets and cereal, so what do I know?

The headrest in front of me had a small television built into it, with all sorts of movies and TV shows on tap. A few episodes of The Office and 30 Rock killed some time. I also watched
Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

That's right. "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."

I like Kevin James. I've even seen a few episodes of King of Queens, and found it enjoyable. But this movie....hoo-boy, this movie. People have asked me what I thought of it. First -- it is exactly what you expect the movie to be. Fat guy does slapstick for two hours. And second -- it wasn't bad, considering I was trapped on an airplane flying between 30,000 and 50,000 feet in the air. Because that's probably the only condition that would have led me to watch the movie.

That's enough for now, I suppose. Paul, our honorable blog owner and all-around decent fella, hasn't specified how long these entries should be, though he's aware of my ability to stretch a story about shoe-tying into a three hour epic on par with Ben Hur. Until next time!


  1. Haha...Mall Cop? Geez.

    But then, when you're flying that long, your options are often limited, aren't they?

  2. When "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is your best option, you know it's slim pickings.

  3. I watched 27 dresses and Ghost's of Girlfriends past on my most recent flight. And I did it voluntarily. Because I hate myself.