I'm back in Vancouver!
Due to the creative time-keeping imposed by tradition (time zones are stupid; we should just do everything with GMT), this blog post is approximately 24 hours after the last one, despite the actual local time reported on each blog post being only being 12 hours apart.
Singapore Changi airport definitely is a nice airport, but I must admit that the novel was starting to wear thin after 12 hours. I was really glad to finally board the ANA flight to Narita.
That flight had the individual seat-mounted movie/video/music/game screens. No power on the seats, though, which made it considerably less comfortable than the flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong. I managed to spend about S$35 on souveniers and S$100 on food+drinks (including buying dinner and drinks for the two group members who came all the way out the airport to visit me, and in one case carry my luggage. Thanks again, guys!)
Narita airport was... ok. Not as bad as Heathrow, but nowhere as nice as Changi. After waffling for a bit, I decided to switch my remaining Singapore cash into yen. I didn't know if I'd actually find something to use it on, but I was in a rare spending mode, and I figured that S$64 wouldn't get me far in other countries anyway. After changing all that cash at the first place I saw, I had 3884 yen. What can you do with that? In particular, what can you do with that inside the controlled area of the Narita airport?
First, I went to a bookstore, and picked up volume 26 of Mahou Sensei Negima. Yeah, that's no way I'll be able to read it (there's lots of kanji), but... it's Negima! I had to buy it! ... ok, at least one of you will understand that, and that's more than enough approval for me.
I also picked up a simple manga that had the hiragana and katana written beside the kanji. And, for that matter, there weren't many kanji to begin with. On later inspection, I think it's really aimed at young girls... but I was getting it for reading practice, not to evaluate it for a literary award.
No, I don't know what the actual title is, since it's written in very stylized characters. It's by peach-pitt, which is a team that's turned out some quite nice work in the past.
Then I stopped at the last store before my gate and looked for things to waste money on. Eventually my eye came to rest on the display of cell phone strap decorations. I don't even have a cell phone, and everybody that I know which has cell phones don't attach decorations to them... but these seem to be really popular in Japan, and most of them were just so gaudy that I figured that I had to get a few.
Unfortunately, I didn't really think about how many I was getting... and I didn't really think about what "380 - 400 yen" meant (i.e. approximately $4). So I ended up buying something like $20-worth of silly, gaudy, impractical cell phone straps.
Oh well. It's not like 2150 yen would do me much good in Canada, either. After that, I only had coins left, so I bought a bad muffin and some mango juice. I ended up bringing 134 yen home.
The flight home turned out to be in a refurbished A330-300, so I had power for my laptop! And individual video screens, although the movies being offered this time weren't very good. Apart from "Bolt", which was a great animated movie about a dog actor that thinks that his super-dog powers are real.
The flight wasn't perfect; there was a crying baby right next to me... but it was still a good trip. In addition, I was at the very front of the economy-class cabins. So I got food and drink first, I could leave first (other than the business-class people), and I had a bit more legroom than normal economy-class seats.
Canadian immigrations wasn't bad -- it was much, much better than when I returned from Belfast in late Aug. That was the same time as all the international students were arriving in Vancouver, and it was on a weekend, so it took about 90 minutes to get through immigration. This time it was only foo minutes.
My cat was very happy to see me, and I'm uploading this blog post while laying on the floor of my living room -- if I went anywhere else, my cat would complain.
Only 1.5 hours since I arrived in Vancouver!