2011, start of a two month trip to southeast Asia. This is a smoking area in the Frankfurt, Germany airport. Yes, I am in Germany instead of Japan.Certainly not the most direct way to go from San Francisco to Bangkok.
Well no, I should not have been in Germany at all, but the Reno to San Francisco flight ran very late and Narita/Tokyo left on time. I’m strangely reassured by this. With two unplanned months in front of me, I’m perfectly ready to like the unexpected.
Narita has nice airport childplay areas. Frankfurt has the adults covered with smoking in the terminal, and comfortable lounge chairs for naps. Tempting, but I sleep through my watch alarm so couldn’t risk it.
I will remember this trip for many things, among them “Transiting through Japan,” or not, as the case may be. Having been already diverted to Germany on my way to Bangkok, the return was changed too. On a Friday the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, wrecking nuclear power stations. My Monday flight out of Thailand was canceled, but I was able to rebook the next day. When I passed through Narita, there was fear, transportation systems were down, the nuclear reactors were on the verge of meltdown. There was huge doubt in every mind – My son’s comment pretty much said it:
“The greatest journeys always end with narrowly escaping nuclear fallout.”