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Come fly with me

Stitch kite
Originally uploaded by tikistitch

This is one of those, "You bought it, now what?" stories of shopping in foreign countries. To make a very long story short, one of the days we were in Tokyo, an old friend took us on a very long day trip. Of course, on the way there, we took a stopped at Toys R Us. Because! Since we still had a long way to go (with this friend, we're never 100% sure where we're headed) I tried to avoid buying the more large and/or awkward items. But, as Stitch sporting equipment is a special favorite of mine, I did pick up a Stitch badminton set, and this, a Stitch kite.

Besides being a bit awkward, this item was also, obviously, a bit fragile, but even after schlepping it from Tokyo to Chiba and back, plus a side trip for much J beer, we got it back to the hotel ok.

Unfortunately, I discovered that the kite is a bit too long to fit in even the largest J Post box. Since we didn't have time to grub around for a bigger box, Mr. Tiki suggested I fasten it to the outside of my pack (it being too long to even fit inside) and carry it on the plane. Surprisingly enough, this gambit worked, and I managed to take everything from the train station to Narita, through security and customs without doing much other than wrinkling the plastic.

When we finally boarded our flight, Mr. Tiki thoughtfully unhooked the kite from my bag before hoisting it into the overhead, so it wouldn't get crushed up there.

Fast forward to approximately 1,986 hours later (subjective time), as we arrived in Seattle, more than a bit eager to debark the friggin' plane. We were seated waaaaaaay in back, in the second to last row of the entire plane, which also made us a bit antsy.

It wasn't until I'd actually debarked and walked all the way up the gangplank and down to Immigration and was standing in line that I remembered we'd taken the kite off my backpack and stuck it in the overhead. Where, it remained. I frantically exited the line and backtracked all the way to the jetway, where some actually very nice United personnel offered to go back (all the way to the BACK of the jet, remember!) and retrieve it for me.

I went back to Immigration, where tiki + kite were finally reunited yay! (I didn't let the thing out of my grip for the entire taxi ride home.) And here's the odd coda to this all: Mr. Tiki and I are pretty firm in our "carry on luggage only" policy. Yes, even on international trips, kiddies. Here is one reason why. After being stuck all the way in the back of the airliner, AND after further having to race back and forth to retrieve my forgotten kite, we were among the last few people through Immigration. But, then we bypassed everyone else waiting for their luggage, breezed past Customs, and found that we were THE FIRST PEOPLE to board the train back to the main gate! This includes all the first and business class travelers who presumably are aided off the plane by teams of sherpas.


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June 2012


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