Paying respects to the hometown should be easier
Trip Start Mar 18, 2003
55Trip End Apr 08, 2007
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
There's no question that in order to get to Oklahoma from Nagoya, Japan, you've got a limited number of options. Unless you've got plenty of time, money and patience, you're pretty much stuck with flying Northwest to Detroit and then down on a little puddle-jumper for the second leg
The surprise then was that, once I had cleared immigration and customs, my flight onwards to Tulsa seemed to be perfectly on time according to the video screens. Numerous other flights were delayed or even canceled due to the weather, but Tulsa was apparently a go. Happy in this knowledge, I made my way to the gate, anticipating a smooth lift-off into the air around 3pm. I should have stayed prepared for the inevitable. While waiting outside of the haphazard gate (completely devoid of seats), I was informed - along with the other passengers - that the flight was delayed due to technical issues. The same message explicitly stated, however, that we should remain near the gate since boarding was expecting to begin "soon."
The reader at this point can probably predict the events to follow. "Technical problems" changed to "waiting on flight crew", with repeated requests to remain patient, but still near the gate and ready to board (i.e. don't wander off and get food, even if you are bloody hungry!!). Various assorted Northwest employees and airport staff would repeat the standard fare when questioned over the next few hours. According to several, our plane was outside, the luggage was loaded and we were essentially waiting on enough crew members so we could take off. Then, somewhere around 6 or 7pm, the announcements dropped off
By this time we were all getting a bit delirious from the boredom, frustration and hunger. The junk food (some snack mix and a soda) that I'd picked up at a nearby convenience store was doing little to tide me over well. Hours continued to tick by, with still no one really in the know about what was going on with our flight (save that it "wasn't cancelled"). Finally at about 11pm, someone came up and asked "where are you all waiting to fly to?" When we let him know, he was surprised and said "that flight was cancelled hours ago!"
The Northwest counters in the main hall were swarmed with angry and exhausted travelers. The main supervisor finally stood up and announced to everyone that all the hotels were full, so they wouldn't be able to put anyone else up anywhere
So, I called my mom's house to give everyone the update. My sister-in-law was livid, and told me not to tolerate them jerking me around. When it was clear that they were only going to let people fly out on Northwest flights or those of their partnership airlines, I just about lost it. Meanwhile there was an American Airlines flight going out of Chicago for Tulsa the next day with plenty of seats still available on it! I talked to my sister-in-law again and she demanded to speak to the supervisor. Using her (actually former) ties to 3M - a company with a tight relationship with Northwest - she basically made it clear that she expected him to get the situation taken care appropriately. Ok, so her senior position in 3M had ceased to exist years previous when she quit the company, but who was he to know?
Anyhow, it worked
Whatever it was I picked up ended up putting a serious dent in my appetite for my first few days home. I basically nibbled at Christmas dinner and could hardly manage to put down the steak my dad fixed when I went to his house with my brother and his family. I've only fully recovered as of about today. That aside, it's been nice seeing my brother Chris and his family; in fact, it was only the second time for me to see my nephew, Zack, since he was born. He went absolutely zany from all the presents on Christmas morning, which was a big hoot to watch
I got to catch up with my good friends Steve and Kieth on a night out on the town yesterday evening. The plan for sushi somehow got shelved though, and we ended up going to a rather snobby, quasi-Euro restaurant down on Tulsa's nightlife strip of Brookside. Despite all intentions to do some serious drinking together, I the jet lag started clubbing me hard after dinner and I was pretty much cashed by 11pm or so. Steve unfortunately has to return to Colorado, so further nights out on the town with him will have to wait 'til another date, but Kieth and I will be making up for it come New Year's Eve (in three days).
Other than that, I did a bit of cruising around town today so I could take some photographs, a few of which I've included in this entry's album. The weather wasn't completely ideal, but at least it's a glimpse of the town that I grew up in. My girlfriend Mayu, meanwhile, is enjoying 80°F weather in Honolulu. If I could be so lucky. . .
Anyhow, that's the wrap from here.