Leaving for Japan

A few days before we left a friend of mine asked me whether I was excited about going on that trip. No, I wasn’t. Instead I was feeling a bit apprehensive, fearful even, as we were about to take our six month old daughter on a month long trip in parts of the world I was completely unfamiliar with. The scenarios that played out in my head knew no boundaries with my main worries usually revolving around the baby getting sick and needing to go  to some foreign hospital where noone spoke English.

Another aspect I didn’t quite look forward to was the long haul portion of our travel. Flying in eastward direction really kills me. There is something about the way the time difference works that doesn’t jive with my biological clock. When I fly US to Bulgaria (+7hrs), I usually take a whole week to fully ‘recover’. Now Tokyo was standing 6+ hrs in the future and this very much seemed like a promise for another string of sleepless nights. Yikes…

The good thing (see, there is always that silver lining) is that the Turkish Airlines flight we were going to take was leaving late morning. I say ‘good’ because it was late enough to let us get a decent night sleep, but early enough to let us reach our final destination in a reasonable hour. Of course 18.5 hrs is no more-no less than fourteen and a half hours of flying and four hours of touring the connecting airport. No matter how you disect it, it’s plain tiring.

‘A Dear Diary’ description of the events follows: As habitual procrastinators, we were done packing sometime in the wee hours of the day of departure. We napped for about 4 hours before we greeted the Sun at 6am precisely. I was tired, puffy and I felt like I was walking in my sleep doing things in a fully-automated mode. Only the fear of missing our flight kept my eyes open and my extremities moving.

As a side note, I should share that my travel history includes a number of missed flights, including a Transatlantic one. I also have this recurring nightmare where I am running in sweat to catch an airplane (and as nightmares go) unsuccessfully. Based on the above, one would think that I am very diligent about being at the airport at least 2 hours before the scheduled departure. And I reeeally try to be, but it never works out.

This time, we’re travelling with Hubs, and his time management skills while not impressive, are superior than mine. We’re on target, left home 2 hrs before the flight in a taxi, a Hyundai Elantra, that managed to squeeze 2 impressive suitcases, a car seat, a fairly large stroller, 4 pieces of hand luggage, three adults and a baby.

Check-in was uneventful, security and passport controls were a breeze, we even had about 10 minutes to try out the business lounge at Sofia Airport.Sofia – Istanbul is a fairly short leg; 1 hr or so of flight time and we’re at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airpot. Little Miss Z. is quite antsy about not getting enough beauty sleep, so we’re headed straight to the CIP Lounge, where I can get her down for a nap. I was sooo looking forward to relax a bit during the 3-4 hours of layover and Hubs had some business errands to take care of, but we did neither. Instead we ‘enjoyed’ a stress level off the charts…

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