Monday, October 05, 2009


It's gray and rainy in Tokyo where we are laying over for a couple of hours between flights. Our scheduled flight to Shanghai has been delayed half hour. Our flight from LA was delayed for one hour. Today is the day of delays.

Now that Northwest has merged with Delta, chaos reigns at LAX. You check in at Delta but they are not really coordinated yet and have incessant computer problems. At the boarding gate there's a sign for almost everyone so you don't know if you're boarding United, Southwest, Northwest or Delta. As usual, LAX is worse than a third world country with speakers babbling full of undecipherable announcements. Everyone strains to hear and after one of these static filled, heavily accented rants, the passengers look blankly at each other. Even Richard with perfect hearing has no idea what they are saying, even if they are speaking English or a foreign language. The airport is dirty, disorganized and still falling apart. Bathrooms are out of order and stay that way for years (or so it seems to us). Passing through security is difficult with confusing signs and insufficient personnel. As usual they don't notice that my name on the passport is different from my ticket. This basic fact is missed by 9 out of 10 security checkpoint people.

Once on the plane everything was fine. Our first class seats in the upper deck were comfortable and the meals were good. Personnel charming and fellow passengers congenial.

Now in Tokyo at the former Northwest, now Delta lounge which has been re-decorated and is uber Modern Asian. Very sleek. The apple computers are all free and absolutely up to date - a pleasure to use. The Narita airport is very well organized and the personnel seem totally engaged with their jobs and would probably catch an irregularity.

Richard is prowling, looking for something to do for 15 minutes. He's finished his New Yorker and doesn't want to start something new. I am wonky, dizzy and more than a little tired. This next flight will be a snoozer for me

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