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Apr '11


Friday, the day of departure, we made sure to check out very early to avoid the daily traffic jam, or trainstuffing. Because we had quite a bit of baggage with us it wouldn’t be very smart or friendly towards the Japanese to travel by train at high season.

We took a local train to Tokyo central station and from there an airport express would take us to the airport. After traveling through Japan for a while we came to know none of the trains really required you to reserve a seat, however it would be wise to do so, so you are certain of a sitting spot. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to reserve seats without missing our train. So we figured we would just try to sit in an unreserved car of the train. Looking for a car that said: “Unreserved” we walked down track nr. 4. However, this train did not have any. A train operator made that clear to us. But he also told us to get in.
So there we were illegally sitting in a train. Well no big deal really. The train took us to the airport in about 1 hour. During this time we ate our breakfast and when we arrived at the airport we started looking for the right place to check in our baggage. This was done easily and without any trouble.

As for ourselves, we went through the gate and got to the shopping-side. There we walked around, looking for more souvenirs, eating and drinking some, walk around some more and finally started to wait at the boarding gate. Sybren sat down, packing his bag with the newly bought items. While he was at it several names passed by on the intercom; demanding people to please board their planes.
Until a certain point where Sybren heard some name on the intercom that sounded weirdly familiar. It was something that sounded like ferzabur or something like that. Followed by Maruselu. Sybren figured this was Marcel’s name, pronounced by a Japanese staff member.
Followed was a name that could have been Sybren’s (Cruesenk, Saiblen), and so he thought as well.

Marcel got this message as well and wondered whether it was his name indeed. He made his way back to the boarding gate.
Worried we both made our way to the desk to ask what was amiss.

When Marcel arrived, Sybren was just talking to one of the stewardesses at the desk. He had given his ticket and when the stewardess came back, she had some news for us.
The tickets we had were not sufficient.
However, the lady was friendly and had already printed new tickets. Although these tickets would get us to Paris as well, the seats would be different. Instead of the nice seats we should be getting, we got upgraded to business class tickets.
Relieved we took the tickets and thanked her. Soon after a line was formed for everyone to board. Good for us we didn’t have to wait for anyone, because we now had business class tickets, meaning we had our own line, with nobody in line. We went through the gate and entered the aircraft.

We got to our comfortable seats and settled down, checking out the chairs. These chairs were something different form the economy class’ ones. They were operated through some buttons on the armrest and we wondered how flat the chair could get. So as two young boys in a toy store, we checked the limits of the chair. It turned out the chair could almost completely flatten and thus form a nice bed to rest in while flying over the big country of Russia.
Also we noticed we were not the only ones who had received an upgrade to the business class, to our left and right, several others were checking out their chairs, tv’s and lamps.

The plane started to taxi it’s way over the airport grounds. As it did, we got offered some champaign, adding to our feeling of wealth and importance. After draining down several glasses, the plane got to the airstrip. We took off, and agreed taking of is different when you are in the front of the plane.
The flight itself was pretty straight forward. Although we had enough space for our legs and a seat that could almost transform into a bed, it was still hard to get to sleep.
The menu was handed over to us and we got to see what we would get for lunch and dinner. For lunch we had chicken, this was served when we flew over Korea/China. After this we had some time to kill and started gaming and watched some television or listened to some music.

Nothing of importance happened while we made our way over Russia and when we got to Finland our dinner got served. Smoked duck with either ravioli or scallops.

Shortly after finishing this meal, we landed in Paris. We got out of the plane and started following the signs that would lead us to our next boarding gate.
After having enjoyed the annoying queues and the jabbering Frenchmen and -women, we finally got to our gate. We sat down and waited. Finally we got aboard and pushed ourselves in the not-quite-as-comfortable-as-business-class-seats seats. We were literally stuck in our seats, no space for our legs or whatsoever. Lucky for us this was not a 14 hour flight, but only 45 minutes.
When everyone who needed to get on board, was aboard, the plane took off. When we reached the flying altitude, we got a drink and a cookie.
We killed the remaining time with watching clouds and training Pokemon.
Without any trouble we reached Schiphol. We got to the ground once again and made our way to baggage belt 13. We waited for our baggage to pass by, but it didn’t. Not either Marcel’s or Sybren’s baggage had made it. After some extra useless waiting, we went to the desk for problems with your baggage. Yet another queue.

When it was our turn, Marcel explained our problem. The lady behind the desk asked for the needed papers and we filled out some form. Sybren’s baggage was still in Paris and would arrive with the next flight. Marcel’s however, was not reported yet. So a search team was activated to start looking for it. Not long after, Marcel’s baggage got on the baggage belt. Unhappy that it didn’t last 4 hours for his baggage to be found -he would get quite a bit of money from his insurance if it did- Marcel got his suitcase and we made our way out towards our awaiting parents.
Sybren’s baggage would be delivered to him the next day.

We got home safely.

1 Comment »

1 Comment » to “Departure”

  1. Matthijs Says:

    Wow impessive blog Sybren & Marcel.

    Seems like you had a really good time over there (despite some earthquakes ;)).

    I guess this really was a hell of an experience (in a good way of course :p). Hope to see soon irl if you both are green or not from the radiation 😉