Friday, November 5, 2010

On A Wing And A Prayer

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was profoundly unenthused about going to Tokyo. Most of it came from the fact that I had been out of sorts for the past three weeks and, like any depressive, just wanted to lock myself in my room and sulk under the sheets.

It didn't help matters any when I discovered that we were flying Delta - personally, not an airline that inspires the utmost confidence in me. Also, flying an American carrier bound for the U.S. (Narita is a common stopover en route to the States) meant that there would be extra helpings of bullshit at the security queue.

It also didn't help that I had to be at the airport at 4:00 am, to wait for a 7:15 flight that would actually leave an hour later.


I've become increasingly unexcited about overseas trips, which is ironic because I once said I am happiest whenever I am leaving the country. Normally I go out the door heaving a heavy sigh of resignation, which quickly turns to annoyance going through the normal hassles of pre-departure routines at the airport. But I'm usually nonchalant once on the plane - just wanting to get to cruising altitude so I can mope in peace.

This was an especially arduous voyage because I had been paranoid for the weeks prior. And truth be told, the more I fly, the less I want to get onto airplanes.  At 30,000 feet in the air, one is well and truly in God's hands.

My discomfort over this particular journey eventually became so acute that I surprised myself with a panic attack in the tube. I very nearly turned on my heels to go back to the counter and say I wasn't boarding the flight. Go figure. Strange things happen in our heads when we're not quite ourselves. Even plopped in my seat, I was still thinking of getting up and making an excuse about some emergency so that they would let me off the plane without being subjected to interrogation and a possible cavity check.

I was having some serious Final Destination issues.

Artist's rendition of idiot slowly going insane in the Mabuhay Lounge.

And because I was already a nutjob by this time, I kept repeating Storm's mantra in my head: "I must not allow myself to be ruled by my fears. I must not allow myself to be ruled by my fears." (The Uncanny X-Men, issue 101, when she was getting claustrophobic in Cassidy Keep just before dinner and shortly before Black Tom and the Juggernaut trapped all the X-Men in the dungeon, whereupon Storm went all-out batshit insane and was pretty useless for the next  issue and a half. 'Nuff said.)

And speaking of storms, it also didn't help that we were flying into bad weather going into Japan. And I happen to like turbulence just as much as the next fearless frequent flier.

Turbulence. Yet another reassuring movie about airplanes.


Succor came in the form of a nice lady - the refreshingly down-to-earth wife of a low-key manufacturer- who engaged me in conversation all throughout the 4-hour flight. I normally enjoy my solitude on the plane but this was one time I was happy to have someone whose non-stop chattering presence became a source of soothing comfort.

Maybe I have mommy issues.

At any rate, despite my apprehensions, we landed uneventfully in Tokyo, where the weather was - contrary to forecasts - surprisingly good.

Shame it wouldn't stay that way.

Up Next : Oh! Tokyo


  1. haha u had me fooled...all the while i thought towards the end of ur post ur gna be telling us that there was some major engine malfunction while ur aboard the plane that gas masks started flying around and u had to pray for ur life ahhaha...

    but of course, it's good to know that nothiing of that nature happened ehehhe ;P


  2. isa kang charot. dami mo pang satsat, sabagay writer ka naman.

  3. isang malaking CHING! hahaha
    san po ang pasalubong? hehe

  4. agree kai DB, ambunan naman sana kami ng shoozalubonggerzie. ching!

  5. dave cockrum's art on that run is a classic.

    who can forget the phoenix cover in UXM#101? :D

  6. @ Soltero : If it's any consolation, there was one time when I was on a plane that had to be turned around after reaching cruising altitude because the pilot said there was some sort of "minor malfunction."

    You can just imagine how wordlessly we all stared at each other in the cabin.

    @ Ming : Di nga. Anything longer than a 3-hour flight makes me antsy. I don't like defying gravity for too long.

    @ DB : P-pasalubong? Hindi pa ba sapat na nakauwi ako nang matiwasay?


    @ hondafanboi : Ching Ching Cojuangco with China to boot.

    @ Ternie : Yes. The cover art of Like A Phoenix From The Ashes is a true comic-book classic.

    And I just remembered that the X-Men had just emerged from a screaming Space Shuttle crashing down from outer space. Mmmmmm. Even more reassuring imagery while one is 30,000 feet in the air.

  7. Daming cher-cher! Haha. Buti maayos ka namang nakarating.

    Hey, I love the 'Oh! Tokyo!' show! Ellen Nishiumi? Remember that girl and her bald cameraman?

  8. japan is a dream destination. good to know it's not your final err destination. enjoy rudeboy.

  9. @ orally : I think I'll see the rest of the country next time. Would've wanted to go visit Osaka and Kyoto, and of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hopefully I can time it when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

    Also, I didn't get to go on the Ninja Tour, so that's another thing.

    @ Ronnie : HAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!! Major props to you for remembering Oh! Tokyo! I loved Elinore (Eleanor?) Nishiumi. She was so funny.