FUUI (Flying Under Udon’s Influence)

Tokyo Narita Airport, Terminal 1, South Wing, 3rd Floor, Chiba, Japan

One of challenges when you’re travelling for a business trip is that you should be seen smilingly fresh and ready to rock and roll by the time the plane touches the runway. That’s why most companies will put you on business class where you can get some special treatments like spacious legs room and more comfortable chairs. But that’s not what happen here in the organization I’m with. You still have to fly in economy class, cramped with many people where even for someone who’s petite like me, you can’t move your legs freely.

…I could feel his warmth and when his chest rose and fell at  times he took a breath and exhale and secretly I hope he’s reading this now

And for this long flight from Jakarta to Honolulu, flying in economy class and sitting on the center row with other three or four people, that could be my worst nightmare.

I thought, when I was lining in front of UA counter the earliest time it opened, I could change my seat that was reserved by Nadya the day before. She complained she couldn’t find a window seat for me in SIN-NRT’s flight since it was really full. That’s why after my gebetan drove me back to the airport, I waited right in front of the counter and spent some times wailing with myself. (Oh, yes. This is my favorite past time, mind you )

At 4.30 am sharp, they opened. So I ran and was the first one to be served. I asked the lady at the counter if she could find me a window seat for my two next flights. Just my luck. She said that she couldn’t find a window seat for SIN-NRT’s flight, only for NRT-HNL’s. My nightmare was about to begun.

I must say, I didn’t sleep that night (not to mention I didn’t take a shower as well since I didn’t have time to get back to the transit hotel). Lack of sleep and too much “Singaporean night wind” made my moods get worse and I couldn’t distinguish the number 49D with 59D (if i’m not mistaken), not because I can’t read. I was tired, sleepy and disoriented. And I just wanted to sleep right after I found my seat on the center row.

Unlike any other airlines like SQ, BI, MH or even GA where most of the flight attendants are friendly and helpful, I don’t think it’s the same with UA. I was fumbling with my seat belt when one of the flight attendant asked me if I sat on the right seat. I felt she scolded me as if I was some kind of bad kid who tried to steal someone else’s seat. Hello? This is center row. Who wants it unless you have to?

Apparently I took Olivia’s seat and she didn’t mind to exchange, so I didn’t have to unbuckle my seat belt and stagger to my own seat. And yes, I tried to sleep with no success.

Beware if you see something like this in Narita - Pic from flickr © alz

We reached Narita around 2 pm. The only thing that could lift my moods were some retail therapies where I spent 35 USD to cheer myself up. And that was the time when we stumbled upon a small restaurant where our slogan “Kenyang dan Bahagia” (Full and Happy) was created. The restaurant’s name is Cafe & Bar Avion and it lies on gate D30s. And if you happen to fly with UA, you can find it easily.

Avion Cafe & Bar, Tokyo Narita Airport, Terminal 1, South Wing, 3rd Floor, Chiba, Japan - Picture © Sophia Paige Ballard

Actually I missed Pop Mie that time and I remember we had it when we spent some times in Hang Nadim Airport at Batam on our late flight when I was with my previous organization. We were in Japan and finding some hot noodle must be something easy, isn’t it?

And so we stared at the food display in front of the restaurant (I must say Japanese are very creative about this one) and our eyes stumbled upon Tempura Udon. Ahh, this must be yummy.

And so, we had it and I finished it until the last drop and felt a little smug. You must imagine a big Japanese bowl of hot udon with two big shrimps and tasty broth and it’s all for 10 USD! And then something strange happened to me. Not just some euphoric kinda feeling, but also the calmness that you can reach after mastering meditation and yoga for sooooo long. And the effect was quite strong so that I suspect they put some magic potion inside the broth (sake?)

Since I got window seat for NRT-HNL’s flight and my tummy was full and I was ecstatic, I didn’t bother to know who the unfortunate person that would be sitting between me and Nadya and pressed like a sandwich that night. After Nadya gave me her pillow, I tucked myself happily inside my blanket, put my own pillow on my back and Nadya’s next to the window where I laid my head there and started to sleep. If the Udon had some magic effect so that I could sleep happily and sound, I must say that I was Flying Under Udon’s Influence that night.

The view from Avion Cafe & Bar - Picture © T.D. Flack / S

The magic effect lasted for 7-8 hours when finally I woke up and felt so fresh and I realized that we were about to land in 2 hours. And when all my minds gathered and you’re fully awaken, that’s when I realized why I wasn’t freezing that night. Nope, not only because of the blanket, but also because of a big hunk who happened to be sitting in the middle and pressed like a sandwich! I could feel his warmth and when his chest rose and fell at times he took a breath and exhale Awww, the effect from the Udon and the warmth from this guy was almost relaxing. While wipping some drools from the corner of my mouth, I secretly eyed my gorgeous neighbor. (This is only dramatization made by Rivie. The reality is I was hoping I didn’t snore that night )

But I must tell you my flirt switch was disarmed that time. I was on a business trip, mind you. I wasn’t going to Honolulu to flirt with some cutie tanned hunk with long curly eyelashes who sat next to me. And if that lame excuse won’t convince you, then I must blame the Tempura Udon that I had in Narita

Now imagine how the Udon had made me let that hunkie out of my claws. That must be a magic Udon that made you feel you don’t need anything else in the world and if your sole purpose is to pay attention to any hot hunkies who pass on your way, you should avoid this Udon fast!

And so that was how it went. The hottie had gone freely, untouched and unharmed with no single trace of my claws on his soft tanned skin (that’s how Nadya put it) and it was all because that DAMN UDON!!

When we were out of the plane and waiting for our luggage on the conveyor belt, I helplessly looked at him for the last time from across the lane and wished we had met at another time and place where I didn’t have Tempura Udon before so I could arm my flirt switch, flash a sexy smile at him and ask “are you comfortable with your seat?” innocently. Aahh Udon. I love you and I hate you at the same time!!

*Retold after a funny discussion with Vitri and Rivie at a satay peddler at the back of our office and okay Vitri, I added the pics to emphasis the story

A little note:
1. I highly recommend the Tempura Udon from Cafe & Bar Avion in Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 1, South Wing, 3rd Floor if you’re not about to meet a gorgeous hunkie who will be sitting next to you during your next flight.

2. There are many vendor machines that sell various drinks ranging from 50 until 200 JPY with Japanese characters on the label. If you’re more adventurous and you don’t speak Japanese, try to pick one of those randomly. You won’t get a candy with ear wax taste like in Harry Potter though, but I found an intriguing tea with acrid after taste. Me and Nadya call it “Teh Gosong” (Overcooked Tea).

* Appeared on http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&suggest&note_id=109136737006#!/note.php?note_id=109136737006
on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 2:37pm

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