I have spent the past three days travelling from Boston to Thailand. It has been a long three days, with over 23 hours spent on an airplane and over 14 hours spent at an airport between flights. But, I made it to Chiang Mai- the Rose of the North. I would like to tell you why I love the Japanese. I spent four hours in the Tokyo Narita airport between a 12.5 hour flight and a 6.5 hour flight. While I was there I wanted some water. Approaching the nearest vending machine I found a bottle of water inside labeled "Narita's Sweat." There are lots of aquatic nouns that would make me want to pay 1,000 Yen for just a taste of the sparkling deliciousness- cascade, flowing river, and waterfalls all come to mind. Plus, I don't know how much 1,000 Yen actually is so I wouldn't know if I was getting scammed or a steal. Anyway, sweat is not one of those words at the front of my thirst brain. I opted for the water fountain.
While waiting for my plane in the terminal, another reason to love the Japanese came to mind: their persistence. About every four and a half minutes a small, little airline employee would come by and say- right in my ear- "Last call for United 3405 to Houston!" I smiled and shook my head. She would go walk around yelling the same thing and then come back to me, "Last call for United 3405 to Houston!" She seemed absolutely astonished that I was an American and I wasn't on the flight going back to America. Really, she seemed absolutely shocked. I tried to explain that I had just come from there, but it was getting through. Thinking there as no way that I wasn't supposed to be on that flight except that maybe I didn't understand her broken English, she said again- pointing to the sign- "Last call for United 3405 to Houston!" Again I smiled and went back to my book. In utter frustration that I wasn't getting on her plane, she walked off yelling the same thing. Then five minutes later another vertically challenged Japanese woman would come by, "Last call for Delta 2901 to Portland!" and the process would repeat. It was great. I learned that Japan does not have equal employer opportunity laws. Not once did I see a male airline employee associated with a Japanese airline. Every flight attendant was female, all the ticket agents were female, and I think I even saw a ponytail on the baggage handler. Amazing. Where are all the men?
I have only been in Chiang Mai for a few hours, but when I get more accustomed to what's going on I'll write again. I can't post pictures because I have an ADSL internet connection and it takes ten minutes per picture.
I'd rather write.