PERHAPS, while you are reading this, I should be settled in my room at plush Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo, if not doing my leisurely walk around Shinjuku district for a look-see, again, of the world’s largest city of 37 million inhabitants.
That is, if my wide-bodied PAL A-330 had taken off hitch-free from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday morning, Oct. 20. I’m almost sure it did. PAL now famously flies on time, especially its overseas flights. I should know. I’ve just traveled nearly 25 thousand kilometers from Manila to America and back onboard our famed flag carrier. That should earn me a free ticket to any Asian city from my mileage points?
“Sure,” said Cielo Villaluna, if not Josen Perez de Tagle?
“No worries,” echoed Nannette Versoza, if not Lito “Jabbar” Hibo?
To be honest, I had no jet lag issues in my last PAL flight as Japan is a mere an hour ahead of the Philippines.
It’s a totally different thing when you are New York-bound from Manila. When you get to the so-called Big Apple and your watch says 9 a.m., that would be 9 p.m. in Manila.
Pray tell me: How can you sleep at 9 p.m. in New York when you know it’s 9 a.m. in Manila?
I did brisk walking there, if not a light jog, almost every time I would finish dinner. I tried to tire myself out the first three nights. Watched TV. Read. Texted. Viber. It helped that wine and other spirits had come cheap. But not a single cellphone call though as I did not have a wallet as fat as Manny Pacquiao’s. One text message over there is 26 bucks.
My habit has always been that each time I land on foreign soil, I check out the surroundings, snoop around for possible sidewalk buys. Persimmon, if not pears, are all-time favorites of mine in Tokyo. I would load them up into my room ref for midnight snacks.
And what’s cooking in Japan?
A Toyota guest in the 46th Tokyo Motor Show, which has become a ritual since 1993, the year I first covered this once-in-two-years exhibition of concept cars set to roll out in five years or thereabouts.
Addicting, not to mention being glued, seemingly, to the eternal lure of sushi and sashimi. Nothing beats the original.