We are in the Bangkok airport, in transit! This post was written in my music notation Moleskine notebook which you can see below in this picture of my airplane tray table.
MN to Japan was my longest plane flight ever, for sure. We took a bus into the center of Narita (city near Tokyo where both the airport and our hotel were) and poked around a couple blocks. An entire flock of some small but very vocal small birds were gathered in the trees above us. Besides the birds, everything seemed very quiet. Commuters, students.. We had trouble finding a restaurant until we walked up to an elevated walkway that led to a train station. Through the other side was a whole other world, much more like the Japan I had imagined – flashing colored lights, cute looking tiny bars, little restaurants.. After a popular place was full, a couple steps further brought us to a beautiful medium sized restaurant with a sliding door entrance (couldn’t figure out how to get in for a moment). The entire kitchen staff greeted us with a loud unison friendly welcome! After getting through couple language barriers, we were able to order a pitcher of beer and some food. I don’t think the cold udon noodles on ice were exactly what my bandmates had in mind but it looked really good. My rice box (see my last mini blog) was a large, hot, splintering, wooden box filled with steamed rice (perfectly cooked), tender grilled salmon, and plentiful salmon roe. The wasabi was the freshest ever – a whole other world of wasabi. The beer in Japan that we were able to taste (I know for a fact the rabbit hole goes deeper but we weren’t able to find any Japanese craft beer) is not very flavorful but tastes very real. Extra light malts with herbal, mineral-like hop bitterness with extremely clean yeast profile.. refreshing and delicious!
As I sit here on the plane to Thailand (en route Laos) I’m left wishing we could have seen Tokyo proper and spent more time in Japan. Aside from a little noodling in the hotel room apres dinner, we did not get to play our instruments. I hope to come back, with a gig next time!
Update from Bangkok airport: Did I mention how excited I am to play music in Southeast Asia?! Not to mention the food which is amazing at every turn! So far the beef curry on Thai Royal Airlines has set a new bar for best airplane food ever. I sat next to a Japanese businessman, also 25, who runs a business selling orchids internationally. He was eager to practice his English and we both worked on how to order Thai food at the desired spice level. The snacks – mix of rice crackers and dried fish and the green tea ice cream add to my high rating of this flight. The seats were brightly colored, and you quickly see that the Thai culture is a very colorful culture. The vibe is very inviting. Now we’re in the airport, waiting to fly to Laos. Our first concert is on Monday! Even if this seems like a food blog right now, the music and cultural exchange is about to hit really hard and we are so ready to start picking tunes! Thanks everyone out there listening!
Below: Eric Robertson keeps calm on our flight