(Originally written: August 3, 2013)
Finally. Saturday, August 3. Departure day.
Our alarm went off at 5:30am. Us Atlantics were in a cab and at the Montreal airport by 7am – earlier than the required meet-up time of 8am, but it gave us the great opportunity to relax and chat some more. We went through an incredibly smooth and efficient group check-in at 8am, then some of us grabbed a quick breakfast. We said our final goodbyes to our Programme Coordinator and other JET Representatives/volunteers who saw us through the airport, went through security, and boarded the plane to Toronto.
After an enjoyable flight, we made the long trek from D Gates to E Gates – fortunately not switching terminals! – to catch the flight to Narita. Four of us had lunch at an incredible restaurant; we sat at a table near a window that overlooked the airport. The restaurant actually had an iPad at every table that acted as a menu; you actually placed your order using the iPad! The iPad was also able to be used for general internet browsing and for playing games, and also provided you with updates on your flight’s departure time. Very, very cool. A server brought us our sandwiches, which were absolutely delicious, and we enjoyed the company!
After a quick stop at Relay (where I bought $22 worth of food/junk for the plane ride, shhh), it was off to our gate to board AC001, direct to Narita! I am actually writing this from the plane. There are a bunch of different JET groups with us (Atlantic, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto), but unfortunately we are not sitting all together – the Atlantics are in the front section, the Montreal’ers are in the back, and Ottawa and Toronto are… somewhere… However, I’m not complaining, as fellow Atlantic’er, Ariana, and I have some of the best seats on the plane (excluding First Class, of course!). The plane layout is 3-3-3, but because we are at the back of the section near the washrooms, there is no room for a third seat, so it is just the two of us! Both of our seats still have full reclining ability and we even have a little extra legroom (amazing!). I am lucky in that I also have the window to stare out of, although my in-seat entertainment system is wonky so I don’t know exactly where we are – first world problems, right?
It’s currently 4:55pm on Saturday in Toronto, 5:55am on Sunday in Tokyo. We have been flying for almost three hours, but it hasn’t felt like long yet – I’ve watched two TV shows and we’ve already had our first meal. Only 9.75 hours left to go…!