Sitting in a Starbucks in the subway station under Narita Airport. One of our group took a different flight via someplace cold like Minneapolis or Detroit (to score miles) and is delayed an hour and a half; our trip leader left her backpack somewhere, she thinks at the currency exchange. There goes a beautiful drug-sniffing German Shepherd . . . It’s 3:42 a.m. in your world, 5:42 in the evening here. I’m a vampire at home so my circadian rhythms are nicely in tune with Japan’s.
We traveled via NYC. Having had 1/2 hour of sleep last night (we left for the airport at 3:30 a.m.), I fell asleep in the little commuter plane, like being inside a toothpaste tube. Was awakened by a blaze of light: sunrise pouring in the plane’s right-side windows. Looked out the left side and saw the windblown blue-green estuary they call the Gateway, recognized Sandy Hook, NJ on the left and, way up at the narrow end of the funnel, dwarfed by the contours of land and water, a modest, dark, preoccupied little cluster of spars giving off puffs of smoke and the glint of one sunstruck skyscraper: Manhattan!
What an amazing reintroduction! Then we disembarked, walked into the airport and smack into a huge sign: WELCOME TO NEW YORK. I took it very personally.
(Couldn’t find my camera last night or would be showing instead of telling.)