After getting through the security gate, I ran into one of my good friends, R who I had gotten close to during the month and a half of Japanese class. She hadn’t realized that the departure gate had been changed, so was quite happy to tag along with me to the correct one, instead of the gate that was bound for Chile.
We arrived at the departure area and I saw a ton of familiar, but tired looking faces. It appeared all the TO JETs had been up quite late the past night as well. I said hi and chatted to all my friends for a bit, and was going to go shopping for some duty free booze when I realized that we only had 5 or so minutes left until boarding. I was the last one through the security gate it seemed, so I was glad I didn’t hold up the plane. Or get left behind!
I was SO thrilled to board the plane. As I walked down the aisle looking for my seat (window seat btw, WOOT) and everyone was putting their carry-ons in the overhead compartments, it began to hit me that holy shizz, yes I am actually going to Japan and once the plane started moving, there really would be no turning back, short of yelling the B word out on the plane. But that would have led to a completely different adventure. I had reached the point of no return, my old life back home wouldn’t be the same even if I asked to get off. It’s not like I could just get off and go back home either – That would have made me the biggest wuss to ever come out of Toronto. So I took a deep breath and continued searching for my seat.
Finally I found it and sat down. I was hoping to sit beside somebody I knew, but then again I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone so I changed my mind and began wishing for someone cool that I didn’t know. Well I guess my prayers were granted because my two seat mates were pretty interesting. One of them is really into film and is actually an editor for documentary film making. Yeah, I need to call her up and get to know her more. My immediate seatmate to my right was a good guy as well. He had a really interesting life and had quite a good command of Japanese. He was a JET that was being sent to a tiny little mountain village of 800 people. To all the people complaining about your inaka placement – you are not in the real inaka so be glad for that haha.
As the plane took off, my excitement began to build. I got another one of those ” this is really happening!! ” rushes as the planes wheels left the runway.
Planes are awesome. I love riding in them. Some people just see them as like a flying bus or some utilitarian mode of transportation, but to me every flight is an experience. There’s just a particular romance about airline travel, I find. I was especially impressed by this particular Air Canada flight. It was pretty dang legit. Every headrest had a TV that you could watch movies on! And you could pick and choose from your inflight entertainment. Incidentally though, I barely watched any shows on my seat as I couldn’t sit still. Rb, my seatmate and I chatted a lot. It’s always great talking to fellow JETs because you have an endless string of things to talk about.
Anyways back to the flight – the meals were actually quite delicious. We got 5 meals; two full meals and a few snacks. But the best part was most definitely the open bar. Yes ladies and gentlemen, alcohol was free and abundant. When everyone discovered this, suddenly the JET plane turned into the JET Party Plane, much to chagrin of all the other passengers for sure.