Dear Readers, Much thanks to those of you who have endured my ramblings through to the end. This blog has been a challenge to write in many ways, and the patience of my audience cannot be commended enough.
The flight was short, and we were soon landing in good ol’ weird assed Portland. Even if I hadn’t known the destination of our flight in advance, I could have guessed that it would be Portland by the sheer multitude of fruity looking damn-near genderless hipster kids clambering aboard.
With a couple hours to kill, we meandered to the info booth, and asked for suggestions. “You could go to the waterfront. There’s free shuttles just out those doors.” Between that and sitting around in the damned airport, the next minute saw us awaiting a shuttle, and we were soon under way.
We wandered through the airport, weary, disgruntled, and in search of sustenance. Everyone was fat, white, and loud.
We reached our connecting terminal, and were ushered without explanations into a series of confusing lines. However, as I surmised from the unwelcoming red letters, domestic connections involving luggage needed to be made 45 minutes in advance.
Stepping off the plane, we were ushered to the gates of Fortress America. Amazingly, as we gathered into two immense, concentration-camp-esque ques down a seemingly endless airport hallway, an airport staff woman with a Chinese accent so thick you could fry dumplings in it, continuously shouted into the crowd, “Don’t worry! Be happy! You’re in America now!”
We boarded our plane, reluctant to leave Japan, and at length took our seats. As it turned out, we were magically selected to operate the emergency exit in the event that our chances for survival (and also possibly the plane itself) should take an unexpected nosedive.
Welcome back to our exclusive series on releasing brown flounder in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Exiting the train, we stepped out into the airport where Koji-san and I loaded our luggage onto a handcart. He had come specifically so he and Naoko-san together could watch our departure until the very plane itself vanished into the skies.