Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tokyo, I can see Russia from here, & Koji

So after a year I’ve finally decided to take a holiday. Well I was told to take one by both the folks who work with me (“you’re always here, you should go away”) and by my vacation days left this year… counting days not taken from years past I had 39 days this year… I’ve only taken 2 of them. So in the hopes of using 37 days (or at least 10-15) by year end I pulled the trigger. So here I am on a flight to Tokyo where a rainy, muggy, foreign land await. At least I’m avoiding the that’s going to flood my home. We’re currently over Alaska somewhere in our grand Mercator-projector-looping flight path

On the way to the airport I felt this urge to email my desk, joke around with them, and generally see how they’re doing. I struggle between feeling like I shouldn’t always be around and wanting to be the person that I normally am and that those above me when I was younger rarely were. Maybe there’s a reason for why they seemed distant at times and seemingly went out of their way to be friends. Maybe. Or maybe there just were incapable of being normal.

My plan upon boarding the flight was to grab my entire side of row 24. I of course am parked at 24L, the window seat, an aesthetically pleasing seat for the takeoffs and landing but strategically terrible for the intermittent 14hrs. namely I’d have to ask someone to wake-up/get-up/stop eating in order to use the bathroom.

But that’s a risk I was am (was) willing to take because there wasn’t anyone sitting in the seats next to me. Bingo. 3 seats which would be perfect for laying out and sleeping on. Who needs first class when you can pull out a stunning economy maneuver. If I was a great literally character this would be on par with the Lepellier Maneuver (from John Knowles “A Separate Peace”), a cunning patented move. But I’m not and it isn’t.

Enter Koji. Koji is the 8yr old who’s parents decided to hop on this flight and fuck up my plan. So much for a whole row, now I have my crummy window seat. That being said the kid is damn cute, waves at me every 10 minutes and over the course of the last 8 hours generally likes to know what I’m doing, why I’m sleeping, and what I’m watching. It’s because of Koji that it’s taken me about 30 minutes to write the last 3 sentences.

Koji: “What are you watching now?”
Me: “Nothing really, just some weird comedy (ThankYouMoreYes – quite good actually). You?”
Koji: “I’m watching Up, it’s one of my favorite kid movies.”
Me: “What’s your favorite non-kids movie?”
Koji: “I dunno, I don’t watch too many of them”

He may win the award for the best stranger I’ve ever sat next to in a flight… he basically knows about every player in baseball and hockey. He was able to name 5 players off the LA Kings roster (so you know he’s a good kid) and seemed to generally think my idea of putting a seatbelt on his teddy bear and playing the “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” (he synchronized the bears movie with his viewing, so they could watch it at the same time) for the bear’s entertainment was a somewhat funny.

Koji and his family (mom, dad, and little brother Yuki) are traveling to Japan because his grandfather has cancer. I’m not sure if he fully understands what that means because 1) he didn’t seem too fazed by it while telling me and 2) I’m 4 times his age and I barely understand what it means. Sweet kid. He wants to be a goalie.
4 hours until we land.

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