The excitement of embarking on my adventure to Japan has certainly been tempered by the anxiety that comes with immersing in a place completely foreign. Leaving ones home is never an easy decision to make; even as I boarded the plane to Tokyo my stomach roiled with uncertainty.
The Japan Airlines Boeing 767 took its time taxiing into position for take-off, reminiscent of the meandering route that brought me to this place. As the pilot applied the breaks and revved the engines, I lay back in my seat, closed my eyes and let the reality sink in. I was actually heading for Tokyo!
With the engines at full power the brakes released and we were off! I felt the familiar satisfaction that I get from flying begin to rise in me; part childlike excitement, part adventurous spirit. Sadly, I had little time to savour it.
*clunk* *WHAM!* At full speed and nearly airborne, the pilot slammed on the brakes. There was a collective scream from the highschool kids behind me as we all lurched forwards against our seatbelts. "皆、坐れ！大丈夫です大丈夫です！" (Everyone sit! Its OK, its OK!) the flight attendant shouted to calm the alarmed passengers.
I sat back in my seat with a wry smile and thought to myself: "Are you fucking serious?!" I was finally ready to go and lo! uncertainty returns!
"Its a rollercoaster," I commented dryly. The middle aged Japanese man next to me chuckled. I dont think he speaks much English.
As I write, we're on the skirting of the runway while the YVR firetrucks 'cool our brakes.'
So, here I sit, literally cooling my jet(s), still not sure if this is really gonna fly.
At least the JAL air service crew is awesome!