Friday, June 26, 2009

Those Kinky Canadians

Flying from Poland to Japan via Canada is dumb. And uncomfortable. Don’t try it, folks. Unless, of course, sitting cramped up for about 23 hours straight, sleeping in airports and being jetlagged upon jetlagged are your ideas of fun. Or, if you plan to travel with a truckload of luggage and want to take advantage of the wonderful scheme that is piece concept – then flying to Asia via North America will be your only way to go.

That was my reason. After packing, repacking, checking the weight of my bags and then repacking again (repeat multiple times over a couple of days until you can no longer stand the sight of your luggage), I finally managed to whittle down my stuff to the most essential 70 kilos.

The decision made itself. Traveling to Japan directly from Europe was out of the question. There was no way I was going to pay for 40 kilos of excess baggage (estimating that I could take 20 kgs as checked in luggage and 10 kgs in the cabin) – at 30 euro per kilo, that alone was enough to make me want to slit my wrists and bleed to death. Or travel to Japan on a donkey.

Clearly, another approach was needed. I started reading up on the piece concept.

This piece concept is a wonderful thing and whoever came up with it needs to be nominated for sainthood. When traveling to/from the US and Canada you are allowed to check in TWO bags of 23 kilos each, plus hand luggage (that’s in economy, you can take THREE bags when flying first class). Compare that to the measly 20 kilos in Europe and other parts of the world and you can see why someone desperate enough would willingly agree to travel for almost 60 hours, including layovers.

Add to that the wonderful Air Canada policy of TWO pieces of hand luggage of 10 kilos each and hassle free entry procedures (no anal probe like in the US) and hello Canada – here I come!!! Surprisingly, the price for the whole itinerary wasn’t that much more expensive than a standard flight to Japan from Europe (via Copenhagen or Helsinki).

I flew on LOT from Gdansk to Warsaw, then after five hours, on to Toronto. There, I had dinner with my friend (who also kindly allowed me to use her shower) and then continued on to Vancouver. And here – surprise, surprise! Air Canada wouldn’t let me check in my bags in Toronto all they way through to Narita, even though I had that route on a single ticket. Apparently, my 13 hour layover in Vancouver was too long for their liking. Oh well, no problem. Luggage carts in Vancouver were free (unlike in Toronto) and I slept on my bags.

And from Vancouver it was just a quick 9-hour and a bit flight to Tokyo. I arrived in one, albeit very tired and almost paralyzed, piece. My luggage got there too. And my dear husband surprised me by showing up at the airport with the car.

I got home and immediately went to sleep. And slept… And then slept some more.

When I finally woke up and began to unpack, I made an amazing discovery. My bras and panties were missing. Somewhere between Poland and Japan they had simply vanished from my luggage.

I know for certain that my bags were searched in Toronto – they appeared on a different belt than the rest of the stuff from the same flight. And who the heck knows what happened to them in Vancouver - I checked them in five hours before the flight.

I have always thought of Japan as the land of hentai. Here, it’s common for western women’s underthings to disappear from washing lines. But Canada?

And it wasn’t even anything Victoria Secret-type fancy. Just normal panties and bras from GAP.

Oh well… I needed an excuse to go shopping, anyway.


Baggage


My baggage was divided into two bags of a bit more than 23 kgs each (but nobody kvetched about it) and two bags as hand luggage. Technically, they were supposed to be 10 kilos each. How heavy they were in reality, well… I better not say.


Old carrots

I got tired (not to mention rather sick) of the usual mysterious “chicken or beef” in airline meals. (This time LOT didn’t even bother with “beef” – it was either “chicken or pork”) and I had ahead of time ordered a vegetarian meal. Big mistake. The carrots were old enough to have a meaningful discussion about life, universe and everything with me. Still, that was nothing compared to the vegetarian macabre served by Air Canada – disgusting quasi-Indian garbage of very mature chickpeas and parboiled rice.


Air canada yuck

The same meal was served twice – zero variety and zero actual vegetables. My seat companion said that her non-vegetarian “salmon” wasn’t any better. We skipped the meals and sustained ourselves on crackers, nuts and Diet Coke.


1 comment:

  1. And those carrots look vile! Miss T's ordered veg meals on LOT several times... never again. You're better off picking what you like off the regular offering.

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