Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Time Temperature Transformation (TTT) – written Feb 5/6

[I knew I could draw you metallurgical engineers in with my title. Suckers!]

I finally get to write about my trip. No more writing about boring pre-trip things. Are you ready? It doesn’t get more exciting than 2 flights totaling 20 hours.

The Boyfriend and I left Toronto at 2:25 PM on February 5 and arrived in Tokyo at 5:30 PM (3:30 AM EST) on February 6 with Air Canada. We then had 50 minutes to sprint through the airport to catch the 6:20 PM flight to finally arrive at 11 PM in Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh) (11 am EST – exactly 12 hours difference).

The flight was just I remembered the last time I went to Asia (although I had the luxury of taking a break in Anchorage). It feels like Time Travel. You get to feel the Time with a capital T, all 20 hours of it, when you travel. However, the entertainment provided did help a lot. As for the Temperature, we went from 5C in Toronto (although it was much colder last week with the snowstorm) to +1C in Tokyo, to finally 27C in Saigon (that was at midnight– it’s around 35C during the day right now!).

Here’s a quick recap of our flights (Caution: very detailed commentary ahead. Skip if not interested…):
- About seating arrangement. The first flight wasn’t full so we got to have 3 seats to ourselves. Sweet! I don’t like sitting next to strangers, especially for prolonged periods of time. On the second flight, it felt like we were crammed like sardines.
- About entertainment. Pros: You get your own TV screen and so get to watch your own movies or TV shows (the individual screens were available on Cathay Pacific 7 years ago…!). In addition, there was an electrical outlet for your laptop and a USB outlet. Cons: The same terrible commercials kept playing before the TV shows: CIBC, The Keg, CBC Newsworld, CIBC in French. Can’t get away from them, even on a plane! As well, the screens would interrupt on a regular basis.
- About games. Games on the TV screen weren’t available throughout the flight; neither was the interactive map that shows you where you are in the world. I had to play games on my laptop instead! (Thanks T&R – the games you gave us really helped!!)
- About earphones. Word of advice: Bring your own earphones. The ones they give for free totally SUCK! I couldn’t hear anything with the sound of the airplane and so had to hold them to my ears. Luckily, I had my earphones from my nano with me! Un-luckily, that meant The Boyfriend and I had to take turns watching movies.
- About eating. I ordered vegetarian meals because my mom was nice enough to remind me that I was going to fly on Ash Wednesday. On a total travel time of 21 hours, we were fed four meals! Dinner at 5 pm consisted of rice and saag gobi – curried spinach and potato, lunch at 9 pm was a very dry sandwich with a bean patty, dinner at 2 am was vegetable biryani and finally dinner at 7 am was a cannelloni. Talk about being overfed…
- About movies and shows. I saw Across the Universe (under the Avant-Garde category). What can I say? Beatles’ songs make me smile. And I don’t mind sappy teen-y movies once in a while!... The movie Silk was under the Canadian category. It’s a Keira Knightley period movie (does she do anything else?) that romanticizes comcumbines, because being someone’s third wife is SO romantic!... The Office episodes can always make me laugh, even when they’re re-runs!
- About sleeping. As I started to think the flight wasn’t too bad, I was keeping busy and entertained, I was relatively comfortable, I hit the “Need sleep” phase. Then you can’t find a comfortable sleeping position even with the extra space, the kid in the next aisle starts crying, others then follow… There’s so much ear plugs can do! When I finally gave up on sleep, I couldn’t even depend on my TV anymore since it seemed to have broken down.

I realize this blog is really long. I blame it on Boredom-on-a-Plane.

This girl kept turning around to look at The Boyfriend. Notice how he has to hold his earphones!

Entertainment options on Air Canada flight.

View over Japan.

1 comment:

Pump's Adventures said...

I totally feel your pain. Addi and I did not even have vegetarian meals for the way there. So we got next to nothing but a lot of stale buns for our first 17 hour flight. (not sure if I did it or Air Canada). When the TVs go down it is bad news (we had a couple hours with no TV). Very funny to read since we just got off a similar route Thursday.