12 and a half hours is a long time to be on a plane. The staff, language and food were an odd mixture of Japanese and French. Interesting for an Australian. Lots of bowing and not a lot of English spoken.
Basically we had movies, food and glimpses out the window to entertain us. As we were only served two meals during that time and we flew over snow for most of it, that left a lot of movies to watch.
Not long after take off we flew over the snow fields of Japan which were rather extensive and spectacular. Our route then took us over Mongolia, Russia, Sweden, Denmark etc so it was snow all the way. Hours and hours of white, broken only by the odd shattered ice where it was starting to melt. I’m not exactly sure where the photo below was taken but I think it is around Sweden. It is hard to believe that so much of the world is frozen and under snow and we flew over a lot of it We may never go on a flight route that far north again. At times the temperature was -72 deg outside.
The food was interesting with a Japanese slant. I will never understand their fascination with plastic models of food and their obsession with taking natural food, processing it and reproducing it in a plastic look a like state.
Lunch (or whatever meal it was) wasn’t too bad and with so little to do I was prepared to eat anything.
The wrapped package on the top left was sticky rice. The main part was some sort of fish.
The next meal was about 8 hours later amused me no end. It was supposed to be breakfast. We left Japan at 11.00 in the morning and flew for 12.5 hours to arrive in Paris at 4.45pm. It was daylight all the way. I do not understand why the staff insisted on keeping the plane in darkness for most of the 12 hours and serving us breakfast a couple of hours before we would have dinner in Paris. I thought that you generally should get yourself into the timezone that you are travelling to. They kept coming around with long sticks and reaching past people to shut their blinds. I would have thought that it was possible to remain awake for 12 hours of the day or nap if you wanted to but that wasn’t the JAL plan. You should sleep! Having said that, many people did manage to sleep for most of the flight. I don’t know how that managed to sleep last night.
The other weird thing is the amount of Japanese that wear surgical masks. As I walked back though the plane a significant number of them were asleep with them on. Even some staff in shops at the airport had worn them. Seems very weird to me. I Googled it and it seems that they may wear them when they are sick in consideration of others.
Anyway back to the amusing meal. It looked like this and came with the instructions shown for making your own egg and burger muffin.
Despite being starving, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat some of it. The bun was such fine white bread that it looked fake. I tasted the yellow object in the bottom left of the tray and tried to warn hubby about it but I don’t think he heard through his noise cancelling headphones (great invention). I put aside the weird burger and bread and ate the lettuce and little yellow ball in the middle at the top which turned out to be egg.
Hubby diligently followed the instructions and put together his muffin. He was obviously hungry as well as he kept on eating even after discovering that the yellow object on the bottom left was actually a mango fruit dessert not the egg for the muffin! Given what we had been through that day with the food, he can be forgiven for thinking that something yellow and egg shaped is actually egg. He should have known that the egg was really the pale yellow round ball at the top…
So after flying for many, many, many hours over white frozen land and watching three movies, we finally landed in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport – 19 years since we had last been there!