Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018

Chapter 1 ~ The Journey to Japan

For those who don’t know me, allow me to introduce myself.

And for those who do already know me, allow me to really introduce myself.

I am Kira Kyera’fa Whytefyre Resari of the Darkfox Clan, the Radiant Winged Fox, Creator of Worlds, Proxy of Fate, the Wild Card, also known as the Game Design Fox, the World-Creating Fox, or the Travelling Fox (occasionally also as the Pizza-, Cookie- and Cake-Baking Fox).

Whew, that’s quite a mouthful. Most people just know me as Kira, and that’s just fine by me =^,^=.

Anyway, I travel the world in search of my vixen, disguised as a human, going places, seeing things, and generally following wherever the wind will take me.

Last year, it took me to New Zealand. The wind has been blowing that way for some time anyway. I remember talking about it with my grandfather even before I started going to school. That was before I awoke to my true vulpine nature.

As for after my awakening… Well, let’s just say it didn’t take me long to figure out that the winds would eventually carry me to this particular country next. Some of you will already know why, and everyone else is going to find out in the next chapter. I had to wait for some time due to unforeseen circumstances, but now the time has arrived, and I am about to disembark to…

Part 1: The Journey Begins

I already took care of most of the preparations in advance. My visa has been issued, my insurances taken care of, and my flight booked. Now all that’s left is to pack my belongings.

It’s not an easy feat since I got a whopping 124 Items on my list, but thanks to sublime packing skills that tend to run in my family, I eventually manage to stuff everything into my backpacks two, which I’ve already taken for a spin around New Zealand.

Naturally, wearing that sort of harness makes me look more like a mule than a fox.

My father comes along to see me off at the airport, and before long, we are on our way, standing at the train station and waiting for the train…

…which will take us all the way to the airport.

Part 2: The Airport’s Allures

We arrive at the airport way ahead of time…

…and the check-in is quickly taken care of, and I now hold my boarding pass.

Since I’ve already travelled to New Zealand via Singapore, I decided to stop over in Bangkok this time around, which means the first leg of my journey is going to look somewhat like this:

But first, it is time to exchange the Euros I still carry on me for a fistful of Yen.

at an exchange rate of 132:1, I get a whopping 36,000¥ for my 300€. That sounds like a lot, but it should be gone faster than you’d think. Generally, though, as a measure of thumb, you can think of Yen as Euro Cents, and have a pretty accurate representation of how much stuff costs.

Anyway, now it’s time to bid my father farewell again, and make my way through the security checkpoint…

…followed by the passport control, where I this time remember to take my glasses off at the convenient fully automated control station, and thus manage to make my way through without any human intervention whatsoever. I hear people complaining about all this biometry stuff, but personally, I find it really nice at times like these.

Now, I once again find myself in the transit area, which is filled with restaurants and duty-free stores.

As my first order of business, I go and find my gate though. It is quite a ways to the north, almost at the border to the extra-high security wing for flights going to the USA I guess.

With that having been taken care of, I now have almost two hours left until check-in. Curiously, there is an unexpected way to pass time literally right next to my gate.

After that, I do now what I realize I should have done before my departure to New Zealand, and go to a good olde German restaurant…

…and indulge in some savoury German cuisine for what will most likely be the last time in a year or so. Honestly, I would have preferred something with Schwammerln and Spätzle, but I suppose a hearty steak with fries and salad will also do, accompanied by a glass of good old Spezi.

By the time I finish with all that, there’s only about half an hour or so left until boarding, and the boarding area is starting to get rather crowded.

Part 3: Flying into the Sunset

My plane for this leg of the flight is a good old Boeing 747-400. I don’t think I’ve ever flown in one before. Even my lengthy trip to New Zealand was done aboard the more lightweight Boeing 777. That might actually make this the first time I’ve flown aboard a quad-jet plane.

Boarding starts momentarily, and within a matter of minutes, I’m aboard the plane that will once again take me halfway around the world.

Just like with Singapore Airlines, every single seat has its own display on this Thai Airways machine. However, despite the fancy remotes, I quickly find out that my options are rather limited, and nowhere near as fancy as with Singapore Airlines.

Now all that’s left is to go over the obligatory safety procedures…

…and then we’re off, roaring like thunder, racing the wind, and piercing into the clouds on steel wings of lightning blue!

If you are one to enjoy a good cloudscape, then this trip is a veritable sightseeing tour. Some people might look out of the window and see “only” clouds, but as I gaze upon the mighty messengers of heavenly deluge, I see towering mountains, sprawling floodplains, rolling hills and twisting valleys alike. Were angels to inhabit this ever, changing scenery, they would not have the need to build palaces for the sheer majesty of the ephemeral natural beauty outshines all.

Perhaps most interestingly, I get to witness a great display of multi-layered clouds. With that, it truly feels like I have entered a higher plane that has its own layer of clouds to rain down on the fluffy white ground below, while rivers of blue separate the white masses of land.

Eventually, however, there are brief gaps in the clouds, allowing me to catch glimpses of lakes and mountains below.

And then its dinnertime already. I’m having some Gai Pad Prik Gaeng, or Grean Beans with Chicken on Jasmin Rice, and although I don’t really fancy green beans, I do enjoy the dish as a whole.

Not much later, night fittingly falls as we cruise above the Black Sea...

…and as we get close to land again, I can see the lights of what must be the city of Batumi in Georgia in the distance.

Once again, it turns out that I’ve chosen the wrong side of the plane to sit on, and so as we pass over India, I do not get to see the lights of New Delhi, but only a suburb that might be Gurugram or Faridabad.

The rest of this slightly-shorter-than-normal night is rather uneventful, and so I go about getting some sleep while most of the other people in the plane set themselves up for jetlag.

Breakfast arrives while it’s still dark outside, about an hour before our landing in Bangkok as we fly across the Bay of Bengal. It’s nothing special this time, only Scrambled Eggs, Chicken Sausages and some mashed potato. At least the sausages come with some genuine Thai sauce.

Shortly therafter, we begin our descent in pitch darkness, and only as we approach the ground do the lights of the city rise to meet us from below like a cobweb of luminous ribbons traversing the deep darkness.

Part 4: A Bangk-Robbery

And just like that, we’ve arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Well, actually, not quite. We arrived at a satellite gate, and now have to ride a rather crowded bus over to the main building for at least ten minutes. One nifty thing about the bus is that it has doors on either side, so we end up getting in on the right side and exiting on the left side. Also, did you notice that the cars were driving on the left side of the road here too? I didn’t consciously register that during the landing, but now that I’m in the bus it becomes blatantly obvious.

A short while later, we finally arrive at the main airport building…

…and while it’s not anywhere near as fancy as Singapore Changi Airport, it still strives to impress with a selection of murals…


…and pagodas.

Naturally, with this being an eastern airport, there are also drink fountains to be found all over the place.

It is about here that the incredible happens, and I end up losing a bunch of my stuff.

What happened? As I am going through yet another security screening, a pair of flustered female attendants starts making a fuss about a number of items in my luggage. Mind you that I was able to get those same items safely through the security checks of Auckland, Singapore and Munich before, yet for some reason the ladies here are being extra fussy about what they deem to be “dangerous goods”. And what exactly do they confiscate? The first item is a scissor in my first aid kit that is about as blunt as they come. Were you to try and assault someone with this, they’d be more likely to die of boredom than the scissors.

The next item is much more painful for me to lose. Ever since the beginning of my New Zealand trip, Liete – my trusty laptop – has been acting up occasionally, freezing up in such a manner that the only way to reconstitute her is take out the battery. No easy feat, since the battery is secured with a pair of teeny-tiny screws that are all but impossible to undo with my standard set of tools. For that reason, I acquired a jeweller’s screwdriver set back in Marton, New Zealand, at a shop called Mitre 10 Mega. I remember my trip there like it was yesterday. It is this treasured and functional memento that they cold-heartedly steal from me, not spending a single thought to the fact that I could probably deal more damage with a ballpoint pen (of which I happen to be carrying two) than with those teeny-tiny screwdrivers. Also, it goes without saying that Liete did not wait long to freeze up on me again after that, but that is a story for another time.

Anyway, moving on now. I made it through the security check more or less unscathed, and am now inside the massive terminal hall…

..from where my flight to Tokyo Narita Airport is bound to depart in about an hour.

[To be continued…]

Part 5: Clouds and Oceans

Part 6: A Japanese Welcome

Samstag, 10. Februar 2018

The Travelling Fox Blog ~ Book 2

Without any further ado, I am proud to present to you the official opening of the Travelling Fox Blog's second Book:

(Word of note: As of late, I have observed that blogspot has trouble directly playing embedded videos. If a video on this blog has issues playing, just right-click on the video and select "View Video".)

Stay tuned, as I tell you about my journey to Japan in the first chapter of the second book, coming soon, on this blog!