So where do you want to go now??

Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jul 14, 2008

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Flag of Japan  ,
Sunday, June 1, 2008

It's a late night in Tokyo....some of you might have thought that I'd be writing from India...well I thought so too...until a revelation from the goddess (in the form of SS...thank you for the enlightenment)... made it apparent that we needed visas to get in to the country!!  Less than 24 hours before heading to JFK for a direct flight to Mumbai, the word 'visa' enters the conversation.  Shocking!  We'd have been turned right around in Mumbai and put on the next plane back to JFK...and that's 17 hours in each direction!   Why didn't this revelation appear earlier you might wonder...well, I don't just didn't.  Certainly I am quite familiar with the concept of needing a visa and that has affected travel decisions up to this point.  I've checked the visa website many times.  But I guess I just thought that there are lots of folks from India in the states and travel back and forth seems to happen pretty it just didn't even occur to me as an issue.  
But luckily, Orbitz, on which I booked the flights, for some odd reason, was offering a refund...not 100%...they needed a little cut...but it was so exciting that cancelling was an option at all.   And so we are now freed from the 115 degree heat and the monsoon rains.    But then...back to the drawing board...where to go?  This is a question that has been rattling around for months...the final destination?   Well, many conversations and hours of internet time later, we are booked on a self-directed tour of Southeast Asia.  Which means the first flight is to Tokyo.  So on the night of May 31st, the plan has changed.  And our flight out is early the next morning...not even enough time for a good night's sleep. 
After an early train to JFK, and some bantering with Japan Airlines, we're off to Tokyo.  The flight is long and the seats are so tight...I don't think they're really made for the width of US hips...anyway, mine just squeeze in between the armrests...I think they're getting bruised during the flight...and my personal video player, which I am elated to find on the flight, is showing worse films that you'd find on a bus in South America...well, maybe that's going some...but they're bad...and they're mostly in Japanese...go figure.  But the stewardesses are so nice and accommodating...and the food is good...and after too many hours playing tetras on the personal video machine, we arrive.  This is for one night only....tomorrow we're headed to Bali....Denpasar  to be exact.  So it's about 2 AM Tokyo time...I'm wide awake (having taken a too long nap at 5 PM upon arrival), so I head the streets to find something to eat.  And in the middle of the night I find a delightful fast food Japanese style restaurant...serving up some rice and pork, salmon, miso soup, and tea,  I don't have yen I have to scurry around and figure that one out...but the meal is great. 
So that's the story...tomorrow is Bali, and after that Java, then Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore, and back to Tokyo for the final week.  Do I know anything about these places?   Not a whole lot...but I'm sure Ill learn fast....and one great thing about this new's not going to be 115 degrees or monsoon season...all is good...
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