Last minute check-up

Against all odd, I’m done packing and still have 30 minutes to go catch the Narita express.

I could just go now and insure that I am actually early to catch a plane once in my life, but why bother.

Actually, when taking a flight out of peak-season, it’s always a better strategy to show up fashionably late for check-in. This may sound like dubious advice, coming from the guy who missed a few planes in recent years, but on the other hand, I have also boarded hundreds of flights without hassles. Check-in employees are way less stressed once the rush is over, it’s easy to make small talk and get whatever you want, whether it’s a potential upgrade, or just a seat on an empty row (there’s always one or two fully empty rows on off-peak flights, and getting them at the end of check-in means you stand good chance they’ll remain so).

So instead, I’m running a last-minute assessment of current situation, before moving on for the month.

  • Neighbourhood cats seem a bit worried to lose both their main source for food distribution and access to the dry shelter of my room, which I understand can suck, especially when monsoon season is geared to start in a week or two. They have been following the packing process closely and, as I speak, there’s a fair chance I might be about to smuggle unwittingly some of Tokyo’s finest stray cat on the European continent. I guess it’ll be the surprise on arrival.
  • Herb garden is going through another rough phase: while the cat problem has been successfully dealt with, my once flamboyant arugula is suddenly showing signs of decay. Simultaneously, I couldn’t help but notice that caterpillars in the vicinity seemed particularly healthy and well fed. If the situation hasn’t somehow stabilized by the time of my return, I am afraid we will have to consider chemical warfare. Napalm or agent orange are the two top options at the moment.
  • Underwears are packed. I had a strange dream last night that essentially involved forgetting to pack my undies. My subconscious really has fucked-up priorities. The socks supply dearly needs replenishing (single socks have been disappearing at an alarming rate lately: I suspect the cats. Wouldn’t put it past these thieving bastards). Good thing, you don’t have to remove your freaking shoes to eat in a restaurant where I’m heading.
  • Passports are packed in separate places, and color-coded, which will avoid repeating embarrassing mistakes and having to spend unnecessary time with an immigration officer convinced he has caught Al Qaida’s number 4.

Ok, see you on the other side!


  1. well, safe travel then 🙂

    just how many passports do you have? and why? (i am the only one in the family with just ONE pp, even my little son has 2, plus some interims)

  2. Passport proper: only two… thanks god, it’s complicated enough as it is. Got loads of interims and miscellaneous visas too…

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