After 4 hours of sleep, more or less, because it took us quite a while to figure out how to be really “winter ready” before going to bed last night, we’re finally back at the airport, this time in the domestic terminal. We availed the hotel transfer, avoiding any possible commute mishap and to make sure that we will not miss our 8 am flight.
When we have checked-in our luggages and got our boarding passes, I started to remove my coat and decided to just carry it with me. I was starting to feel a bit hot as we move inside, thinking where to get breakfast. I shouldn’t be surprised though because I was already wearing an ultra warm heattech crew neck shirt under a white fleece turtle neck pullover, with heatteach denim leggings on top of an ultra warm heattech leggings; all purchased in every Filipino’s favorite clothing store: Uniqlo*. I was too concerned in not being ready enough for whatever temperature we will be facing when we get to Hokkaido so I had to gear up so bad. The forecast says -9c. Who knows how cold would that be?
I wasn’t really hungry. It was only after 6:30 am, and on normal days, my appetite at this hour would still be asleep. But still, I ordered a set meal composed of ramen and some rice toppings. I might need energy for the day, I thought. When my food arrived, my husband was still in the restroom, removing his heattech layers because apparently, it was too hot for him. It was taking him forever so I decided to start eating while enjoying the view of the sun about to rise. I was seated across the window and I can see the airplanes on standby outside. Wait. Is that a ship behind one of the aircrafts? I mean, is this airport right beside a body of water? I later figured out that yes, Tokyo Haneda Airport is right beside Tokyo Bay*.
After the heavy breakfast, which I’m not used to, we managed to find good seats near our departure gate. I took out a book from my bag since we still have plenty of time, but suddenly remembered to put on my contact lenses first. I’ve had a lot struggle last night with the eyeglasses-in-a-cold-weather situation, so I’m dealing with that one as early as now.
The PA system was announcing something as I was flipping through Gatsby*, the book which I have been very to eager to finish since 2014, but for some reason, I never become successful in doing so. It was amusing to hear the announcement in Japanese then translated into English, but sometimes they do it really slow so it sounds funny to my ears. I wasn’t really paying attention to what the announcement was all about when I heard, “… at 7:38 am”. I snapped out of the page I was reading. 7:38? Who does that? Well, looks like Japanese people talk about time very seriously. Precision at its finest.
Few minutes later, we were already asked to board the plane. I have no idea how long the flight is from Tokyo to Hokkaido so I was still contemplating whether I should just sleep, or amuse myself with the in-flight entertainment. We were already halfway the passenger boarding bridge when I saw an ANA* kiosk with two baskets: one is full of earphones for in-flight use, and the other one is for plastic bags which you can use to put in your hand carry items aside from your bag. Could be really helpful for your bulky coats, I think. You can choose to get any of these, for free. How generous, I thought.
I decided to get one of the free earphones, thinking of just watching a movie during the flight. I already watched Aladdin (the 2019 film) last night during the 4 hour flight from Manila to Japan. There must be another interesting one to keep me occupied this morning. Once we found our seats in the plane, I started browsing on the screen in front of me. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Nope. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelald. Hmmm. I’m not in the mood to recall what happened in the first one. So, nope.
I reached for my book, then put on the earphones. I decided to just listen to Taylor Swift’s Lover album as I read. I used to be a Swiftie* back in college, when she was just starting to become famous. But not anymore. The only reason why I’m listening to her today is because she’s the only artist I’m familiar with in ANA’s in-flight entertainment. Sorry, Taylor.
After a few songs or so, I started to feel sleepy. This earphones sound like the ones I buy back in high school. The 100peso ones from CDR-King* which only lasts for a few weeks, or a couple of months if you’re lucky. I should probably get myself a new earphones. The one I’ve been using since 2015 already retired last year. But anyway, this will do for now.
The plane hasn’t taken off yet, and I could see from the window that the sun’s finally up, ready for another duty to light up this side of the world. I can’t help but to fix my gaze out the window, even though I have to squint against the bright sunlight everytime. I decided to shift my cap in a comfortable position to avoid hurting my eyes. And with one last look out the aircraft’s window, I closed my eyes, and dozed off with TSwift’s voice in the background.
“Easy they come, easy they go
I jump from the train, I ride off alone
I never grew up, it’s getting so old
Help me hold onto you…”
* Uniqlo – A Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer.
* Tokyo Bay – A bay located in the southern Kantō region of Japan, and spans the coasts of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Bay is connected to the Pacific Ocean by the Uraga Channel. Its old name was Edo Bay.
* Gatsby – A 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922.
* ANA – All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., also known as Zennikkū, is the largest airline in Japan by revenues and passenger numbers.
* Swiftie – A fan of American singer-songwriter and actress Taylor Swift.
* CDR-King – A Filipino retail chain that sells discounted computer parts and gadgets, electronic appliances, and accessories.
(**Taken from Wikipedia)