I must confess, I should’a known….
For such a cheap seat price, my expectations were pitched too high, and definitely wider than the seat pitch… We did get a pre-take-off drink. We did get metal cutlery. We did get a little bag with four goodies in it, and there were (mostly) noise cancelling earphones. So on the whole I should not complain – what is it they say about gift horses; that’s right we paid for this one.
The seat was marginally wider than in economy, the seat in front not squished into my knees, and I managed to recline to about 45 degrees, as opposed to 30. But it was not the wide plush that I was expecting – and this is Jetstar…
But we arrived safe and secure in Narita, transiting from a temperature of 22 degrees with sunshine to 12 with rain. Brrr. The first thing I did when I retrieved my bag was to pull out my waterproof Kathmandu jacket with warm lining. Now I’m good.
Unlike the airports at home, when we have to make our way across the tarmac from the plane we are exposed to the elements: here we have a stair with cover, and a walkway that concertinas out across the pavement with its own rain cover. Terribly clever, and I have no concerns about arriving in the terminal dripping and cold.
We manage to navigate our way easily enough to the Narita Express train – N’EX to its friends, and only have a 30 minute wait until our carriage arrives. The 60k trip takes a little over an hour to deposit us in Shinjuku on the west side of Tokyo.
As is usual during my initial exposure to the Northern hemisphere, my sense of direction deserts me. No sun to orient, and I can’t even use the stars, since it’s overcast. In addition, the whole place is bedecked with signs, mostly in Japanese, and our map is not terrifically helpful. So off we set through the crowd, heading in what I think is the right direction. After a short walk, I consider it might be good to check, (that’s a turn up for the books – Andrea asks directions) google maps tells me where to go, but it’s still confusing so we ask a taxi driver, who is also clueless – or maybe he can’t be bothered with a 7 minute taxi fare.
As we are standing on the pavement in the wet, a young man asks us where we need to go, so I share google with him, and he says he knows exactly where to go, and he’ll guide us. Off we trot, burdened with our luggage like beasts, and trundle our way through the streets – sure enough it’s not too far away, though by this time my cheeks are feeling decidedly cool. Our young friend is a surfer, and he’s off to Hawaii for a surfing trip this year – he thinks the surf there is better than in our fair country. He’s probably right, and Hawaii is the home of surfing after all! I’m still a bit miffed, but not being a surfer myself, I cannot refute his claims, and I wouldn’t know Bells Beach from any other bunch of waves.
Once he deposits us outside our Inn, he wanders off into the neon-lit dark to go to his home, and we gratefully enter into the warm world of our hotel.
Our room is scarcely big enough for the proverbial cat swinging, and I need to rearrange some furniture in order to make space for our bags. W wants to eat something, but I am wonky from the flight and the thought of being horizontal again is too much for me, so all I do is brave the loo before collapsing into a comfortable bed. The tech-toilet is too much – heated seat and requires a PhD in something to decypher the gadgets: front or back spray, deodoriser, probably a dryer to avoid loo paper? I don’t even realise it has a normal flush until the next morning. Don’t worry – it was clean when I left it.
The sink in the bathroom is about half height – I swear they are expecting height challenged guests: Werner quips that he could shave his navel but not his face with the mirror located at this altitude.
But the beds are comfortable and warm, so before long I am off in the land of nod.