Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Don't worry...I had to look it up the first time I read it too.

I walked around in a jet lagged haze today. Since I couldn't get our Japan Rail passes at O'Hare on Sunday, I decided that today was as good a day as any to head off to the Japan Air Lines office in Zürich to see if I could pick 'em up there.

No, of course I didn't call ahead to find out their hours.

Mrs. TBF was flying to Singapore out of Zürich anyway, so I thought I'd just ride the train with her to the airport, have a cup of Starbucks with her after she checked-in, participate in a little PDA in front of passport control, and then take the train to the Zürich main station.

That's pretty much what I did...I think. As I said, my memory of today is a bit hazy.

I arrived in Zürich, walked out the wrong side of the train station, stared at a tram map for about two minutes before I realized that I had nearly zero ability to focus, walked back to the train station, walked out the main entrance/exit, walked to the nearest tram stop, and then hopped on the next tram. I got off the tram a few stops later, started walking in what I thought was the right direction, and hoped for the best.

I began to get frustrated with my inability to find the JAL office. Although I'm not really sure why, seeing that I don't know Zürich at all, didn't have a Zürich map, and basically just had the address written down on a crumpled up Post-It note.

Finally, I decided to get in touch with my feminine side, and I popped into a bar to ask for directions. To my surprise, I found out from the bartender that I was only about a block away from my destination. I thanked the bartender, walked into the bathroom and had a near-personal-best pee (my best is two minutes and four seconds), and I shuffled back into the clean and safe streets of Zürich for the final leg of my journey.

A couple of minutes later, I saw the JAL sign on the facade of a building, went to the door, and....LOCKED. Fortuntately, it was 1:25, and they were only closed (for lunch) until 1:30.


I hadn't spoken any German in a couple of weeks, so I decided to practice a bit by doing the whole purchase of our rail pass vouchers in German. Everything went well until I made a comment that the passes were much cheaper than I thought they were going to be. It was at this point that I realized that I was about to buy second class tickets. A last second correction was made, I paid for the passes, and I left with two 14-day first class (green) vouchers that we'll turn in for our actual passes at Tokyo Narita Airport in a few weeks.

At least, that's what I think (hope) I bought. As I said, I was walking around in a haze. It dawned on me at this point that I probably could have just gone to a travel agent in Basel and bought the damn things, but...that would have been too darn easy.

So after sleep-walking my way from Basel to Zürich Airport to Zürich Main Station to Basel, and nearly falling asleep about ten times along the way, I find myself now at just before midnight...not feeling the least bit tired.

Aaaaahhhhhhh, jet lag!


Michael Lehet said...

Never take the easy way TBF! NEVER!

CanadianSwiss said...

Don't worry, TBF. I feel like that every morning. Maybe I just dream a lot about long flights.

And next time we meet up, make sure to ask Orange about HIS last somnambulist experience.

Anonymous said...

Japan sounds interesting!

...holidays or business?

P.S.: Have you ever seen "Mr. Baseball" (hillarious movie with Tom Selleck playing a worn-out baseball player that is transfered to a Japanese team)?

The Big Finn said...

Michael - Never! Well...maybe, sometimes!

CS - Remind me.

swissguy - Holiday. My business days are way in the past.