Tag Archives: flying

Our Odyssey to Canada

Our move to Canada is finished. We made it. But I haven’t been able to tell you all of the details about our move. So, here is the story.

Moving Out

A week and a half ago, we moved out of our apartment in Fujisawa. We sorted all of our belongings, had a company take away all of our furniture and garbage, and then we had to clean. We stayed in a hotel in Yokohama for two nights, the 23rd and 24th. The hotel room was tiny, but the breakfast was great. It was nice having a buffet breakfast. But as we cleaned, we realised how little time we had. We were rushed. We did get things done and packages sent to both our Canada address and my wife’s parents’ house.

Saitama

We spent five nights in Saitama prefecture, just north of Tokyo. During those days, we met friends, packed more, and sent even more boxes to Canada. We got my wife an Electronic Travel Authorization for travel in Canada. I submitted our address change to Immigration. But I think the biggest thing is a lot of last things. I saw my oldest friend in Japan for the last time during my stay in the country. I ate at Big Boy for the last time. On our last day in Japan, I visited a shrine for the last time, Warabi Shrine. This is it.

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We were accompanied to the airport by my wife’s parents, which was very nice of them. But the most difficult parts were still to come.

At Narita Airport

When we checked in, my wife had to explain to Air Canada that she was traveling to Canada without a visa and a one-way flight because her permanent residency was still being processed. They had no problem with that. Our luggage was checked, and then we headed to security. Security was straightforward and easy. Then it was passport control. Surprisingly, no issues with my wife’s lack of visa. We were let through and into the departures area. We took a brief break and took a few pictures of the planes.

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One of our problems was trying to cancel our cell phone service. Unfortunately, Softbank’s store actually wasn’t a Softbank store. We couldn’t cancel our contracts. I did get our plans reduced to 400 yen per month per phone, though. We made our way to the gate, and waited. As we boarded, we discovered that the plane was a very modern jet with newer entertainment systems. I watched a couple movies, Jurassic World and Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The former was mediocre, the latter was good. But first, our last view of Japan:

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Vancouver

We landed in Vancouver and had to go through immigration. That was probably the most painful part of the process, because Canadian immigration officers tend to be emotionless robots that interrogate rather than question. They had difficult questions for my wife, but she got through it. They told her that she can stay in Canada for up to six months without a visa.

We stayed at a hotel near the airport and had a view of Mt. Baker, which is often said to be the Mt. Fuji of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a similar kind of mountain, a volcano.

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Our stay in Vancouver was rather uneventful because our daughter fell asleep. We couldn’t really do much. I’d hoped to go swimming in the hotel with our daughter, but since she slept, we couldn’t. We did get her to wake up and go out for dinner at a nearby mall, though. We slept in the big king size bed and woke up in the morning to beautiful weather. As we left to go to the airport, I spoke with the man at the front desk a while. He has a friend living in Japan as an actor. Our flight was very short, and we soon arrived at our next destination.

Calgary

We were picked up by my sister in Calgary, and we went straight downtown to visit the Consulate-General of Japan. I had to get my driver’s license translated into English, and after two trips to the post office to get copies made and to buy a stamp, I finally got the application done. And soon after that, we were on our way to Edmonton.

A Drive to Edmonton

During our drive, we snacked, drank, and talked. And my daughter fell asleep.

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The drive was fairly uneventful, and we soon arrived at Edmonton. And when we got to the house, my daughter met my mom for the first time in person. But she was absolutely crazy about the dog. She kept chasing him around, and he’s sixteen years old and deaf. We went out for dinner at Harvey’s and bought some things at Save-on-Foods.

Settling In

On our second day, our first full day in Edmonton, we did some shopping and visited a playground. The playground near the house is huge and very busy.

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My daughter had some difficulty with communication, as she kept speaking Japanese with everyone. No one understood her. Later on, after we had dinner, my daughter fell asleep fairly early. But just a few minutes ago, she woke up screaming in her bed. You see, she has her own bedroom now, and she was scared because we weren’t there. Now she’s in our bed.

I tried to take some video about our move, but there weren’t many opportunities to take video. However, I did get some, and I’ll make it into a video. Also, I have some more posts to make about our first couple days, which I’ll do this weekend. I also hope to have several videos up soon. So, keep a close eye on this blog!

If you have any questions or comments, you can type them below.

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Narita Airport-Bound

We are on our way to Narita Airport. After lunch, we’ll be checking in and going through security. Soon, we leave Japan.

I have a bit of apprehension because I’m leaving a country I’ve called home for eleven years. All the friends and students I’m leaving behind will always live on in my memory. But some I will keep in contact with on Facebook. I’ll see them again when we visit Japan.

I also worry about our daughter on the plane. Will she behave? Will she drive us and other passengers crazy? It’s her first flight, and she’s excited about it. But it’s so long. Hopefully she’ll sleep. I hope I can, too. I’ve never been able to sleep on a plane.

Well, I’ll update when we arrive in Vancouver. We’ll be canceling our cell phones at the airport, but I’ll be able to use wi-fi in many places, and we’ll have access to the internet in the hotel.

See you in Canada!

Leaving Japan Sucks

We leave Japan tomorrow. As we go around doing our final preparations and paperwork, I look around at everything and feel that I really don’t want to leave this. I love the atmosphere of Japan, and I really enjoyed doing my job. Now we’re leaving.

I took a video at what is probably the last shrine I’ll see for a long time. I don’t know when I’ll upload it. I’ll probably do a marathon of videos this weekend from our new home in Edmonton. So many to do.

If I have time, I’ll try catch up on comments on the blog today. I doubt I’ll have time for two or three days after today. Travel will keep us busy.

I’ll make one more post before we fly. But it may have to be before we get to the airport. Expect video of our last day in Japan and first day in Canada.

Authors Answer 73 – A Flight Across the Pacific

We often talk about our writing in general, but we never show off our writing skills in Authors Answer. Well, since I am on my way to Canada soon, let’s find out how we describe the trip.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 73 – Jay Dee is moving to Canada in less than a week. In the voice of one of your characters, how would they describe a nine hour flight from Japan to Canada?

Paul B. Spence

Drake sighed and nudged Geoffrey to get his attention.

“I’m bored,” he complained.

“Have another drink,” Geoffrey suggested, looking up from his book.

“I’ve tried drinking,” Drake said patiently. “It didn’t work. You know that alcohol alone could never intoxicate me. I considered propositioning one of the stewardesses, but I was never one for quickies, and I only have seven hours left on this flight, after all.”

“You know, I have trouble telling when you’re joking.”

“I’m not joking. I have seven hours left to kill on this absurd trip. Why did I ever agree to this in the first place?”

“You were the one who wanted to see Japan.”

“Yes, but I assumed you’d agree to teleport there, not box me into this primitive contraption.”

“You didn’t have to ride along with me.”

“I wouldn’t have if I’d realized it was going to take so damn long.”

Geoffrey just shook his head and resumed reading.

“You know,” Drake said slyly. “I do have a few hours to kill.”

“What?” Geoffrey asked, looking up, alarmed.

Drake didn’t answer. He was eyeing an obnoxious inebriated man in the expensive suit, with bad intentions.

Gregory S. Close

Osrith stared at the steel construct, impressed with the metalwork, but skeptical it could even leave the ground, let alone fly thousands of leagues through the air.

“You’re not getting me on that thing, I don’t care how you say it works.”

Vaujn shrugged. “The Dacadians used to have airships.  I’ve seen the plans, read a little about them. Same basic idea, here.  Thrust pushes air against the wing surface, and that provides the lift to bring the beast airborne.  Just like a bird.”  The underkin scratched his beard, reconsidering.  “Maybe more like a dragon.”

Osrith was largely unimpressed with his companion’s assurances. “Yeah.  Well, I’m not like to climb into a dragon, either,” he responded.

“The Dacadians used some sort of aulden artifact to provide the necessary energy to lift their ships.  These shiny birds seem to rely less on magic and more on some advanced physience.  Those artifices on the underside of the wings, I think.”

Osrith laughed.  “Even better.  An airship contrived from the Forbidden Arts.  If we don’t die horrible deaths inside the damned contraption, we’ll be executed for surviving.”

“Do you want to see this hockey thing with the sticks and the fighting on ice, or not?” Vaujn asked.  “Because if you do, then Kassakan says we need to take off on this thing and go to the Great White North.”

“Take off?”

“To the Great White North, yes.  That’s what she said.”

“Not sure I want to see this hockey-fight that bad.”

“They serve free ale onboard.”

“One free ale ain’t gonna – ”

“No.  Free ale for the whole trip.  You sit in a little seat by a window and they bring as much as you can stomach.  Seven bells from here to there, she says, so that’s a cask or two, I’d imagine.  Each.”

“Gods,” Osrith whispered reverently. “What are we waiting for?”

Allen Tiffany

“Barber, it was very strange,” Kira said. “I’ve never been farther above the ground than a horse’s back, and they said we were flying at thirty-thousand meters. And fast, too. I could see nothing below us except clouds for a time, and then the ocean. I was not so much scared as…confused. Everything here is so different.”

Linda G. Hill

Never mind the f*cking breakfast, just give me a scotch! ~ George Anderson.

D. T. Nova

“I’d barely known what was going on getting on the plane, but once it rose into the air, it didn’t take long to get used to it. I do not say that was a good thing. Here I was, flying for the first time, and bored less than a tenth of the way into the journey. The view out the window was featureless, and unlike the ship we’d taken going the other way, none of our fellow passengers were inclined to socialize with strangers. So I wound up talking to Alice for hours, and in the end my first trip in a plane was little different from my first trip in a car, aside from being so long I had no energy at the end.”

Jean Davis

My scifi character would say: Great Geva this is the slowest form of transportation that humans could possibly conceive of. Who has time to sit in one place for nine hours when they could take a high speed transport and be there in one, or get an implant and be there in less than a minute?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Note: the character who is speaking comes from a parallel world in which modern technology simply does not exist.

Note #2: I suspect that this wasn’t really the intention of the question, but I felt the easiest way for my character to “describe” the flight was to simply write a short little scene in which he is the narrator. I hope that’s okay!)

“Jacob…Jacob, are you okay?”

Victoria was giving me a very odd look, and as I worked desperately to extract my fingers from around the arms of my seat, I couldn’t really blame her. I was certain that all the blood had drained out of my face during the airplane’s departure. Victoria had assured me that there was nothing to this “flying” thing, but from the moment the airplane sprang to life I’d been struggling not to scream.

“Did your ears pop?” she was asking, a bit of a smile on her face.

I forced myself to nod, but the painful pop that had seemed to split my head in two was the last thing on my mind right now. I was too busy staring out the tiny window as the world beneath us got smaller and smaller and clouds began to appear. Without wanting to, I began to imagine that we would just keep rising and rising until we reached the stars and disappeared among the heavens.

“Jacob, seriously,” Victoria whispered in my ear. “Just calm down and breathe. I know it’s strange to you, but I promise we’re perfectly safe, and it’ll only take nine hours for us to get from Japan to Canada.”

I felt my fingers clenching around the armrests again. Nine hours. Nine hours to get from one side of the planet to the other. It’s like some kind of black magic.

“Excuse me, Sir?” asked the airplane lady who had leaned in from the aisle. She held a silver can in one hand and was offering it out to me with a friendly smile. “Would you like to purchase an alcoholic beverage?”

“Dear gods, yes.”

Eric Wood

I, 5 year old Timmy (and my favoritest bunny, Barnaby) would love it. But prolly after a little while I would get tired and hungry. Hope you brought some coloring books. Or maybe my tablet so I can play some games. I love “Dumb Ways to Die” and “Zoo Train”. You’ll prolly want to me sleep, but I’ll fight it because naps are for babies. I’ll get tired and eventually fall asleep for a little while anyway. And airplane food is gross!

H. Anthe Davis

Considering my protagonist is an earth-oriented pseudo-shaman, I think he’d be curled up in the footwell of the seats, not daring to look out the window.  Meanwhile my antagonist (a sorcerer) would be complaining about the in-flight movie and slyly commenting on such potential dangers as a lightning storm or on-board fire in order to further traumatize the protagonist.

Elizabeth Rhodes

In the words of Dexter McMahon: “So let me get this straight. You expect us to sit in this airplane for nine hours as it travels over land and sea. We’ll be thousands of miles in the air. And all you’re giving me is this flimsy belt to keep me in the chair?  Can I get a parachute? How about some rum?”

S. R. Carrillo

Sol, my “title” character, would find it irritating. “Si’ in a single spot f’ nine hours – tch. Curious eyes ’round ‘ere. Wonder wha’ they’d show me…” he’d say. and proceed to question passengers about their dark pasts and questionable futures for shits and giggles.

Jay Dee Archer

Paolo Fernandes relating his experience to his wife: “I couldn’t believe how slow it was. Flying through the air all the way across the Pacific is so inefficient and time consuming. I was hoping for a suborbital flight. But what did I get? An old jet from the beginning of last century. The food wasn’t very good, but at least the entertainment was interesting. I love those classic movies.”

How about you?

How would you describe a flight across the Pacific in the voice of a character you created?