NARITA, Japan — It’s a shame when you think about it. The first sights and sounds you see the first time you step foot in a country are those of the airport.
There’s no culture. Just a busy and bustling atmosphere that is more frustrating than it is anything else. Perhaps it begins with the customs line. There is no Fast Pass for this attraction, and you don’t even get a copy of the mug shot the customs officer takes. Too bad, that would have made a nice souvenir. Guess I’ll have to settle for seaweed candy.
I very rarely check a bag. I have no faith in any airline to deliver my belongings. And as I look toward the baggage carousel, my fears turn to reality. My bag is nowhere to be seen. A woman approaches me and says it looks like I can’t find my bag. Was it that obvious?
I carry on a conversation with her for a few minutes and fill out some paperwork. I walk away, cursing Delta for losing my bag. Turns out we have the TSA to thank for this one. Apparently my bag was detained in Atlanta. That’s great. I guess my T-shirts were suspicious. Or maybe they forgot to pack their three ounce liquid bottles in “zip-top” bags.
Regardless, it does me little good. I will be reunited with my bag tomorrow — allegedly. Noting I can do about it at this point, except kick myself, look in the mirror and say, “I told you so.”
I pass through my second customs inspection and head for the souvenir shop. I have two hours until I meet up with my friends. I have time to kill.
I look for a drink. I want something local. My eyes pass by a Pepsi and a Lipton. Instead, I opt for C.C. Lemon. It tastes like lemon juice mixed with club soda. Not bad. Not sure why this is what I picked, but I’ll have another chance.
I’m looking across from where I am sitting. A hot dog costs 380 Yen. Not bad, but I’m looking for something a little more Japanese. I can’t sit here any longer and type on my computer. I’ll be back…