Traveling back to Japan was hard. I really wanted to stay in the States. I miss my friends and family and three weeks was just not enough. But Jeremy is in Japan and as his wife that meant my life is now in Japan. Traveling back was also hard because I was dreading my flights with China Eastern again.
My flight on JetBlue was once again easy. I only had two hours layover at JFK in New York City. Surprisingly I made the connection to China Eastern in time. I had an aisle seat this time but the flight was still as uncomfortable as the last time I flew with them. I am a firm believer that seats shouldn’t be laid back on planes. It is usually a pain for the person behind you. Especially if they are overweight. I couldn’t have my tray down the entire time I was on the flight because the person in front of me had his seat laid back even if he wasn’t leaning back in the seat or when he got up to walk around. I had to eat my dinner and breakfast trying to hold the trays in one hand. I tried to get his attention these times to pull his seat up but he just snapped at me in a foreign language and would turn back around. So I spent the rest of the flight listening to movies and trying to sleep.
When I landed in Shanghai, I was surprised that I had to get 144 hour visa in order to pick up my luggage and check into my next flight. Since I had a 23 hour layover I had to get my luggage and go to the very front part of the airport. After walking around a bit I found a quiet area with an outlet and made myself a bed the best I could. The floor was marble and since it was in the low 40’s outside, the marble was freezing. I felt like a homeless person bundled in sweatshirts and using sweaters as blankets. I had planned ahead brought lots of snacks so I wouldn’t have to buy food while I waited for my flight. Around 5am the airport started to get busy again so I had to keep moving from seating area to seating to find quiet areas to wait. My flight wasn’t until 5pm and they wouldn’t let me check in until 3pm, so I had a long time to kill. I filled it trying to cat nap in uncomfortable seats and listening to more Generation Why Podcasts.
When they finally let me check in I had them check my two big suitcases (okay one was a suitcase and the other was my personal military duffel bag). I took my backpack, an overnight, and a small rolling bag with me to security check in. I had taken these three bags with me on the two previous flights coming to Shanghai and no one had said anything because the back pack and overnight bag fit under the seat together no problem. A lady stopped me before I got to security and told me I would have to go back and check one of the bags. I tried to condense the back pack together but she said they were too heavy. I went back to the counter and told the agent what the woman had told me. They said that I would have to check my small rolling bag. I was tired and just wanted to get to my flight so I agreed to it until they told me it would cost $145 to check it. I tried to get them to check the over night bag but they said that would cost the same as the rolling bag. I ended up paying for the rolling suitcase to be checked. So much for trying to save money.
The flight back to Hiroshima was thankfully uneventful. Jeremy was there waiting for me. I was so happy to see him. When I landed it was the night before Thanksgiving. I was happy to have a long weekend home with him. I was happy to be home period.