Midnight Sky Notes from Jakarta to Tokyo


Sometimes it’s good to live for the moment. Case in point: you’re flying JAL from Jakarta to Tokyo. It’s an overnight flight, but a short one. When a flight like this is blocked for 7 hrs, you know it’s probably more like 6. Then when you factor in takeoff and getting settled and at least having a snack before sleeping and a cup of coffee before landing, you’re looking at a 5-hour maximum sleep window.

But then the friendly flight attendant offers another glass of Syrah. This being a Japanese airline, she’s already apologized four times for asking you to change your seat upon boarding.

When she offers the wine, you think: I probably shouldn’t. It’s not that you’ve had too much to drink. You had a glass of champagne an hour ago and that first glass of Syrah. It’s that it’s LATE and you only have a few hours before sunrise in Tokyo.

But again, sometimes it’s good to live for the moment. Long ago you did this in a middle seat on Air France from Cotonou, West Africa to Paris. You’re not young anymore, but what the hell. Sure, one more glass. The sky is pitch black as you fly over Manila. Travel is life.


Image: Paul-Vincent

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