Before even leaving for Japan I had so much to do I had to pull an overnighter. I basically stayed up for 24 hrs and boarded a jet to San Francisco where I would begin the real journey. I fell asleep before we even took off and had about an hour an half of rest.
Here is something not a lot people think about. If you do ever have an opportunity to head to Asia, you’ll need to know this. When you fly west for a 10 hour flight across the Pacific and across the International date line, you basically are flying towards the sunset. What this means is, it is daylight… forever!
What airlines do to combat this insanity is to close all the shades, turn off the lights and help give the illusion we are flying at night. Unless there is a meal, you’ll have no idea what is happening outside the magic tube. For the most part this is an effective trick but human curiosity sets in after sporadic sleep for several hours upon waking, one must look.
This was my view descending into Narita just outside of Tokyo, Japan.
Then piercing light ripped through the cabin and everyone despised me immediately. We all were vampires at that moment. Truth be told, I think I annoyed my neighbors the entire 10 hours. At the point my phone slipped out of my hands and under the seat and somehow rolled back into the row behind me. (Not realizing this until after getting the couple next to me to stand up while I spread across all three seats to try and reach it) I knew I was the dick of the trip. We had another five hours at that point, too. I effected 6 people’s peace and comfort in one full sweep. Sorry strange east Indian lady behind me who doesn’t speak english, I know you weren’t expecting a grown man to pop his head over the seat and ask for his phone. I was humbled too
Yeah, I was that guy.
After arriving (still daylight and only 2:00 in the afternoon) I was rolled out in a wheelchair rummy-dummy, dazed and confused. The beautiful woman helping me did not understand a lot of what I was trying to explain to her because of our language barrier. Despite my concerns about staying by the gate to wait for my POC, she whisked me away because he was not there. I was taken through immigration and customs, I filled out my paperwork incorrectly, made lots of Japanese officials laugh several times on account of my stupidity. Then she pushed me out into the general area of arrivals and exited stage left with the wheelchair.
I was on my own now. I didn’t really know where to go or how to speak Japanese and I was holding a phone which now is basically a paper weight. I had a suitcase, laptop and a walker. I had one fully functional leg, and one that spends a lot of time in envy of the other leg. I also had one working hand and one doing its best impression of a working hand. The task of pushing the walker and carrying two large and heavy items simply didn’t match up with the labor hired to do the task.
I was instructed by the woman at the information counter to walk down to the DOD (Department of Defense) desk. I was very happy to have figured a solution to what could become a serious problem should I not rendezvous with my driver. It was the best place to go. According to her, it was just around the corner but of course this meant, just around the corner and then it’s at the other end of the airport. Happiness can be like a cloud blowing in the wind slowly out of reach. or in my case, a cloud blowing away in a severe wind advisory. How do you remain happy and positive when you can’t carry everything through an airport? You don’t. Instead you swear under your breath and sweat profusely until you arrive at your destination. I even put my laptop backpack on my back thinking it would make things easier. I haven’t done that since high school because it is fucking dangerous for a cripple with balance issues. I felt like an idiot, I walked and wabbled off balance like an idiot and everyone gave me a wide berth because they were all quite sure I was an idiot.
About a half hour later (a 5 min walk for everyone else) I arrived a the DOD counter and finally an hour later, it got worked out. I met my POC and the other headliner, Johnny then from there we traveled another three hours to Camp Fuji. At this point the two of us were running on no sleep from our long journey. I personally was running on about 38 hrs without a good night’s rest. I had no idea what day it was, who I was, and my body was very confused. In fact, so confused, the left leg thought it was the right and the right leg was doing a very convincing performance acting like my left. Finally after the longest day ever, I shut my eyes and went to bed. I didn’t know I was a cast member on “The Amazing Race.”
The positive side of this adventure is that I am here, I made it. I am overseas in Japan and for the first time ever, I am performing comedy on another continent. Hell, my adventure has really just begun.
While waiting for my driver at the DOD desk, I snapped the picture below.The Japanese have a weird fascination with cartoons and even in this photo there seems to be a little baby tentacle penis. Japenese may work like robots but I think they live in a constant state of childhood, which is pretty cool. They are always giggling and laughing at anything silly, ie me, and I think that’s pretty damn wonderful. When you haven’t slept in over a day, though, I can attest, these colors and the cartoon pilot penis figure is intense!
Until my next entry.