2010年1月31日日曜日

a propelling experience

Well, I'm back.

Thankfully!

Not that I wanted the convention to be over- that was fabulous.

But the plane ride home?

Hmmm....

Shinshu- Matsumoto is a small airport.

JAL is doing so badly here they're pulling out altogether at the end of March.

In the meantime they have downgraded their planes to:


Yup. Propeller planes!

And I took that picture from my seat. Yup, I was seated next to the propeller. Made me feel personally responsible for checking the propeller was turning as it should, doing it's spinning thing without incident- quiet a cross to bear really and the longer you stare at a propeller without blinking the funnier your eyes get- like a magic eye book or something - and you lose confidence that the propeller is still turning properly and you need to stare harder. Doesn't make for a very relaxing flight!

The plane itself was tiny- two rows of two seats. Not quite as small as this one but pretty close:



The funniest part wasn't that we were bussed out onto the tarmac in Sapporo to walk up the stairs and onto the plane, or that the flight attendant didn't need to move to check we were all sitting down and count heads or even that there was a conversation-interruptingly loud roaring wind sound of the propellers the entire flight (that wasn't very funny at all actually) no, the funniest bit was when we arrived in Matsumoto.

Mastumoto is a very small airport surrounded by a very big park. (SkyPark- imaginative, huh?) there is about a flight a day out of Matsumoto at the moment. To either Sapporo, Osaka or Fukuoka. Signs telling you about these flights are all through the park.

As are signs and a huge banner informing you that the observation deck on the roof of the airport is free to enter (isn't it everywhere???).

Today was Sunday. We started circling to land and noticed masses of people on the rooftop. We got closer and closer and realised they weren't shooting a scene out of Independence Day, the airport hadn't flooded and it wasn't a hostage situation. Nope, they were families there to watch a plane land. And we did- to applause and much waving. So, in a re-enactment of the Beatles landing in Tokyo (only without so much screaming) we walked down the steps of the plane, across the tarmac and into the airport (think big bus shelter with a 5m long baggage carousel) standing tall, looking VIP-style serene and waving at our 'fans'.

Truly bizarre.

Almost worth the terrifying propellor plane flight there.

Almost.

5 件のコメント:

Lulu さんのコメント...

Oh my god. I don`t think I could of got on the plane...

How funny that you had an audience! I guess it is an exciting day out to go to see a plane- I remember being a kid and dad taking us to a train bridge so we could watch the trains- and we thought that was exciting! HAHA

Look forward to hearing about the convention! Obviously this year was out for me because of Noah but I really want to go next year, especially if it is close enough!

Semsavblanc さんのコメント...

Quelle horreur! The train is much nicer.

Xana さんのコメント...

It reminds me of the planes to Izumo (Shimane). Sounds like they could make good money if they sold tickets to watch the planes!

Brenda さんのコメント...

We took that little baby to Kyushu and back. Every time there was a bit of turbulence, Akinori and I held hands tightly and gave each other this look that said "If we don't make it through this..." Luckily the company taking over from JAL is bringing jets back to Nagano!

thefukases さんのコメント...

I don't know whether I'm reassured or horrified that this isn't the only place in Japan with the propeller plane issue. And Brenda- you described perfectly my feelings during turbulence!