Leaving Japan

I’m currently at Narita airport.  I’ve said goodbye to my house guest and now I’m spending the rest of the day here as I’m leaving for Sydney this evening.

We left quite early this morning as we hadn’t been able to book train tickets to the airport in advance.  We didn’t have any problems getting a train but given the restricted schedule of the past week we thought it was prudent to give ourselves plenty of time.  Terminal 1 wasn’t overly full.  It had long queues but that’s mainly because everyone turned up before check-in opened.  We arrived 45 minutes before Virgin opened theirs.  I was speaking to one man who seemed to think that the queues weren’t normal and more people than usual had turned up.  But then I fly all the time and I have seen much longer queues than those, and the queues disappeared quite quickly once check-in actually opened.  I also noticed that the queues for security were the normal length.

I was surprised that the man I was talking to was so concerned.  He looked at the queue at said that he couldn’t imagine Virgin being able to handle it in the time-frame.  But there is only one Virgin flight a day and of course they can handle checking in the passengers for one flight in an hour and a half.  We are still in Japan.  It’s not as if they had one member of staff on or anything.  It was actually looking as if they would have everyone checked-in within 30 minutes.  I have waited nearly 90 minutes to be checked-in for a flight in America on a day when there weren’t considered to be any problems at all.  In that case it was caused by a shortage of staff.  It was almost as if they hadn’t realised that the people with tickets would be turning up for the flights.

I’m in Terminal 2 now and it is busier.  There are a couple of very long queues.  But I was still able to find a seat in Starbucks, so it’s not overly alarming out there.  Nothing like it would be during Golden Week, the big holiday during the year.

I have been asked if I’m fleeing the country but that’s not quite what I’m doing.  I have a Japanese friend who left for Perth on Thursday night and she would like me to join her.  She would also like to have someone to fly back to Japan with.  There is no doubt that if it wasn’t for the recent disaster that I would not be leaving.  There are issues with being in Tokyo at the minute, and I don’t mean fear of radiation, but rather the disruption of services and the possibility of another quake.  I also know that my family and friends are going to be happier if I am somewhere else.  Marty has no plans to leave at the minute, but I know that he will leave if he believes that Tokyo is unsafe.

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