Around the World in 30 Days

Despite living and working in France (I'm almost a resident!), I haven't been back home for more than a day in the past month. I had to go to Palo Alto for a work, and scheduled a trip to Japan prior to that to take the JLPT. I ended up going to New York unexpectedly (I didn't even bring the keys to my apartment) to apply for my French visa (and getting to fly Business Class on ANA made this trip quite enjoyable). I'm finally back home, and the weather is so much nicer in the south of France than it is in either Tokyo or New York.

The week in Palo Alto was fairly uneventful. I was there for work, but I managed to see some friends during the time there. The hotels in that city are always booked or unreasonably expensive for no reason, and I had to stay in Sunnyvale for the week. The weather was nice at least.

I flew back to France on that Sunday and enjoyed a short time in Paris before flying to Japan. I was slated to be in Japan for the rest of the week, and the week following, though I couldn't manage to take the days of the following week off. Luckily, we still have an office in Tokyo to work out of, and there were some people still there. Though I was only there for a short time, I always miss being in Tokyo (sans humidity and heat).

I flew from Tokyo to New York on Saturday from Narita, on NH104. Most on the ground services were a given, since I have Diamond Plus status on Asiana for at least the next few years. The ANA lounge is great as always, though I still wonder what the First Class lounge is like... Maybe some day. I didn't eat much given that I'd be eating pretty well on the flight.

The aircraft was a 777-300ER, so one of the older planes on the airline. The hard product definitely showed some wear and tear on the armrests, but nonetheless was spacious and comfortable. Full 180-degree recline was a given, and ANA even supplied a sanitized bed pad to put on top of the seat (something I wish was part of Lufthansa's product). The layout of most long-haul flights is staggered, so I didn't really interact with any of the other passengers. I was also at the front part of the cabin, so the galley separated the eight or so seats in the front from the rest in the back.

The amenity kit was fairly standard, but the soft service was great. I managed to get through the flight without speaking English, though the First Class flight attendant spoke to me in English because she probably didn't remember me during the flight. At the end of the flight, though, she apologized for not remembering, and me not being able to understand most of what she was saying at the time, assumed she was telling me to put my seat upright. As I realized later (there is some lag in my honorific Japanese processing ability), this was not the case, and now I am terribly embarrassed since I was being rude. Well, she might have confirmed that I'm not a native speaker, so maybe there's that saving grace. Oh well.

The meal service was great, and marked my third consecutive dinner eating unagi. I promptly fell asleep afterward, and work up just in time for breakfast, which was nice, but then again, not to the level of dinner. It never is, but I did get to try kabosu juice, which was really great. I'll probably order this much more often in the future.

I landed in New York and slept over at a friend's apartment, having locked myself out of my own. I went to work that following week, and now I'm back.