Silly Grins

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Airports… nothing is more less exciting for me than maybe reading about a person’s experience in an airport.

Subway sandwich. 980yen for the big one. Hadn’t had breakfast and lunchtime was almost over, so the 700 or so calories were welcome.

Bookstore… it all came down to the price, which was about 1000 yen. A book of short stories. 50 Great Ones. Maybe I can remember enough about each one of them so that, one day, at some party or dinner, I can impress a literate ‘intellectual’ who didn’t see it coming. 

On the way back, we'll be loaded with used books. This transgression, a purchasing of the new, is forgivable.

I think I get airport bookstores now. 

“God, why does the Duck put himself that kind of pain on what seems like a daily basis?”
"At least he shares."


Waiting in line at immigration, after having remembered to fill out the form (Christ, do I really want to come back?), I stand behind a guy with a huge upper-body. He’s still a little hung over from his three day business trip. He asks what I do. Then I ask what he does. 

An engineer, born in Hokkaido… stayed there till he was four. By his accent, sounds like he’s lived all over the world. Which sounds about right. Hokkaido until four. Parents were (maybe still are) diplomats. From Jamaica. Could have been Japanese too, but that would have required him giving up us US citizenship. He asked my if I had Japanese citizenship. My answer was the same as his.

Mr. Electricity, arms like Zeus, is heading back to Dallas eventually… or was it DC. Was his turn to go through immigration, so the conversation stopped there.

Next was my turn. After a smooth and humorous (no not humorously smooth… I wasn’t trying to pick up on her, I swear)… she smiled, laughed and seemed remarkably easygoing for immigration. Her bowl-cut wasn't so cute, but she did have a nice smile. At me, she smi...

Walked on down the hall…

One of the pretties standing outside the Bermuda 'stink' Triangle waved me down. So pretty. So thin. So telling me in her well practiced English that, “Wait, have one. This is for men.” Another smile. And the reek of Ralph Lauren for a second I remembered junior high dances. In the hands of a 13-year-old, that stuff is lethal. It must be the man on the horse with his mallet giving me a headache, that or Hokkaido-born Jamaican-American’s engineering-induced hangover was going viral.

Now I sit, still sweaty from carrying the bags, starting to cool off. Wondering.  

On this trip, we will cautiously embrace the technology. Let it see where we are. 

No promises. Nothing more than the mundane. 
Just going to explore a little.

Battery going out. 


  1. Have a good flight :)

    Do you get English at immigration? They look at my passport and see the student visa stamp and only use Japanese. Like studying for a year in Japan means I can understand keigo!

    1. Cannot remember. Think it was Japanese. She had a sort of bowl-cut, smiled and laughed. That's the story.

      Maybe immigration is speshully hard on 'students' because they aren't considered proper adults... or something.

  2. (Christ, do I really want to come back?)

    Man...I laughed out loud :)

    I remember THAT!!

    1. Not laughing. But hope to be able to. Maybe later. F#@k!

  3. Hopefully customs isn't too terrible. When I landed in April from Germany in LAX I swear it felt humid, hot and stinky of many different people from many different places. I hope at least when you land it isn't too terribly bad.

    1. Immigration was too easy and customs suspiciously smooth. No frisking. Nuthin.

      I imagine this scene would sum it up:

      Me: Don't you even want to search me? Hey, I might have something. I just came in from Japan.

      Them: You don't have anything we are interested in. Really. Get over it. Move along (makes the L sign)

      Kind of strange being around people who aren't nervous, suspicious, or remotely interested. Kind of nice too. Not too much different than where I just came from. Yeah, I'm a winner!

  4. I have airport bookstores to thank for a shelf full of half-read books with titles like 'Understanding Probability the Indonesian Way' and 'Fight the Future! 20 tips for increased productivity form the author of The Inuit's Dilemma'. They file The Art of War under 'Business' now, did you know?

    Interested to know how the technology holds up. Weighing up the pros and cons of a tablet as a kid-distractor for the next long haul effort.

    And at the risk of boring you even further with someone else's airport story, it sounds like you had a better experience with duty free than I did last time last time around.

    Enjoy the trip :)

    1. Enjoyed reading about your enhanced soap-drop consumer-ized experience. Nothing like the smells of victory...

      But that was a long time ago. Now there are other things that require alcohol or turpentine to remove all kinds of stuff.

      Yeah. It's a good trip. Or something like that.