Flying to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’

My first time flying solo was not as unnerving as I thought it would be. In fact, I felt quite relaxed and peaceful, even though, by the time of this picture, I had been sitting in an aircraft for close to 12 hours. Crossing the international date-line wasn’t anything special really, apart for the fact that one second prior it had been May 3rd and now, I was suddenly flying mid-day on May 4th.

The only thing that could keep me from utter boredom by that time was to occasionally peak outside the window into the vast ocean of clouds (even though I was reprimanded a few times by the stewardess who “didn’t want the other passengers to wake up”. I honestly wondered why everyone in the plane was dead asleep -in broad daylight-. Maybe it was just me who was the weird one, seeing as I was the only person fully conscious during our lovely 14-hour long flight (even my seat mates were all conched out). In any case, the ‘view’ outside entertained me lightly in between movies and classical music on the Air Canada radio system. At one point though, while peeking through a one-inch height of unveiled window, I did feel my heart flutter with awe and suddenly felt compelled to wake my nearest seat mate (he’s my friend, so he readily forgave my rudeness) and say:

“Look! We’re flying over Russia!”

Frozen beauty of Russia

This moment in time, when I saw for the first time in my life the beauty of this barren land with my own eyes will be forever embedded in my mind. It is not because I am unaccustomed to seeing snow and ice (in Canada, we have our fair share of it too), it is the magnitude of it which caught me off guard (that, and my long standing love-affair with Russia). I searched with my eyes for a good half-hour, squinting against the bright white light, in search for any sign of life; alas, to no avail. In that moment, I forgot that I was actually headed to Japan, the country that I had been dreaming to visit since my childhood. Instead, I was mesmerized by this landscape and secretly wished that the plane would land right then and there for a short pit-stop and allow me to explore to my heart’s content. Alas, the impossibility of my wish crushed my heart and I contented myself by staring at the frozen land beneath me until it was out of sight, covered by clouds once more.

Two hours later, we were landing in Narita, Japan.

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