Airport running... Japan here I come? (Ulog #23)

in life •  2 months ago

Phew! Today has been a bit of a crazy day of running around and jumping through hoops and obstacles! As I write this ulog, it is clear that there are many more people with worse problems than the ones that I describe here, however, it is quite clear that some of my colleagues can’t seem to appreciate that fact…

Typhoon Jebi and Japan

So, if you haven’t read or heard the news recently. Japan has been hit by the strongest typhoon in about 25 years! Which has pretty much shut down some of the infrastructure, particular in Osaka where I was due to fly into today.

At this moment there seems to be about 10 (or more) people killed and some pretty severe damage to property and infrastructure. Osaka airport was flooded which meant that KLM had cancelled my flight yesterday evening. My heart goes out to those are directly affected, I hope you are all staying safe and the recovery is quick.

Sleeping well


However, as a musician, these problems of travel are not mine to fix. We were booked on a group ticket and so it was time for the orchestra manager to hitch up her sleeves and get to work... To be honest, I felt pretty bad for her. To try and get over 40 people from Europe to Japan in the wake of a typhoon would be pretty nuts, and definitely not a job that I would want to be trying sort out! Especially as some of my colleagues can be complete arseholes when it comes to helping out or just being patient and understanding!

So, basically, for myself, I went into "waiting for instructions" mode. I packed (remembering to take out my ivory mounted bows, which I can't travel to certain countries with), and basically did as if I was going to leave at some point in the day. So, just like packing for going to the birth of a child! Ready to go, but unsure when the green light will turn on!


I did end up sleeping on the floor of the toddler's room though. Before I go travelling, I try to take as much of the night sessions as possible, seeing as my wife will be doing all the work whilst I'm away. We've set up a little camping mat on the floor, we've given up in this busy month with fighting to get her back to bed... She's won this battle... but we will win the WAR!

The morning


The morning brought no more news... however, it was raining crazily hard in The Netherlands. Which would have been fine, but our dear neighbours hadn't cleaned their gutters. Which meant that the downpipe on our side was completely blocked and water was pouring out the gutters. Mostly on the outside, I hope not on the inside... It wasn't possible to check easily though...

After dealing with that, I made a little phone call to the orchestra manager to see if a solution had been sorted out with the travel. Oddly enough, she was in a bit of a frayed humour. She was asking what I would like to do, if I would like to book a hotel somewhere in between or in a different city in Japan or how I would like to fly there? I told her that, in all honesty, I was the least cranky person in the orchestra, and that I would be more than happy enough with whatever she could sort out!

Anyway, at that stage there were no additional instructions other than to wait.

Run run run!


Well, in the late morning I decided to call again to check on the situation. This time there was some movement on the KLM side of things, and that they had started randomly rebooking people on to flights run by other airlines! Apparently, this was not something that could be affected over the phone as the phone support didn't have access to other airline's stuff, but was only something that could be changed at the airport (unless you wanted the lottery).

As we had a concert the day after we were supposed to land, the instructions changed to: Get to the airport and get yourself on any offered flight within the next day to Japan. Osaka preferred but if it wasn't then it could be something that could be sorted out in transit!

Oké doke... I'm not sure that was a good plan. But those were the instructions! I eventually made it to the airport in record time, with my wife driving me to a train station in pouring rain, which meant I arrived at the airport dripping wet. Par off the course for this country!


Well, on the train, I received another message. All was sorted and we would be flying with two different group flights to Japan in a few hours. So, despite everything, the orchestra manager was able to pull the rabbit out of the bag. Although, I guess she won't be getting any apologies from the people who were people obtuse!

At the check in desk, the Qatar airlines woman said that KLM was quite known for cancelling flights to retain their 'on time' statistics! Bastards!

At the gate, another employee gave me the onboard cabin baggage label for my violin! Which is great, I collect these and never take them off, as it can be a nasty fight to have my violins allowed on board....

As you may have noticed... I'm racing to finish this post as the plane is on the tarmac... Now the only decision is whether I should sleep on the first or second flight... And what movies to watch! Jet lag and trying not to fall asleep on stage being the things to think about for tomorrow!

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I used to travel with a sax which is metal but never really had any problems, but I can sympathise with you on yours


Oddly enough, I guess the saxophone gets recognise more often!

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Dude! how crazy is all this. I hope people in Japan are not too affected. Good luck, and God bless your way.


Yes, I think there was also an earthquake whilst I was in the air... Will check the news tomorrow!

Sounds like quite the adventure. I'm sorry there's been so much damage in Japan. Hopefully the storm ends soon and they're able to get things put back together. Have safe flights and a great concert!


Just landed and it looks like there was an earthquake up in Sapporo... I'm going to collapse into bed and try to see what is happening tomorrow...


That's scary. Hopefully people are ok. Enjoy your sleep and I hope things go really well for the concert! You're a pro. You've got this. :)

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I hope things will turn out okay for everyone. Two natural disasters in one week is a lot to cope with. I hope your trip will be uneventful for the remainder of your time in Japan.


Well, it is pretty rough for the people living here... My problems of travel aren't anything compared to the people directly affected!


I feel for them...

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That surely had to be a magic hat that lady was pulling from. Flooding is a terrible experience and our area had its share last year so my thoughts go out to those people affected by the storm that live there, and you as well for having to deal with the unexpected hassle of travelling there.


Well, like a I mentioned... my screwed up travel itinerary is the least of anyone's issues! Typhoon,and from what I hear... Earthquake up north!

Wow great post. You have an interesting job in a difficult industry so you must be awesome at what you do. When you said some of the members can be arses. Are they “Liam Gallagher arses” or just up full of their own importance ?


Well... I haven't been dragged kicking and screaming off the stage yet... and people haven't thrown anything that might hurt!

"Full of their own importance"... I guess it all is the same though! Complaining, bitching and moaning... not willing to go an inch out of their way to make things work...

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Just too many unfortunate events. One of my friends are also stranded in Osaka


Were they at the airport when the trains got cut off? I hope they were able to get out of the airport...

I am in Osaka city now... the bullet trains are running normally... but now I hear that Sapporo had an earthquake, and that was supposed to be on the list of destinations for our tour!

The show must go on!!
I know this only too well
Trust everything turned out good 😊


No further casualties from our performance... and I managed to stay awake on stage! Success I think!


I have a feeling you can perform in your sleep... so it wouldn't have been a problem hahaha
So glad it all turned out ok 😊

Heh, i slept on the floor of my kid's room once and have never heard the end of it. They love to cite precedent.


You should remind them of the things they pooped in their pants! Parents have much more ammunition for this than the kids... Although, it might be a bit of a tear inducing overkill....

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That's some crazy weather there in Japan. I can't imagine a lifestyle of constant travel. I think it would wear a person out. Stay safe out there.


Well... It goes through periods of crazy travel and periods of home... But it is pretty exhausting when it is a touring schedule!

Oh gosh, I didn't know about the tragedy in Japan. I hope all returns to normalcy soon. And I'm excited for your concert. I wanted to be a symphony musician at one point in my life. As it turns out, life had other plans, bu I still think that would have been a fun path.


This particular orchestra tours a lot... Which can be pretty rough! But I play in a few groups, and not all of them have this crazy touring schedule!

What instrument do you play?


I don't play anything anymore, but once upon a time, long, long ago, I played the contra-base clarinet. I loved that instrument. Most people have never heard it it, but I think it's got the best sound of all the clarinets.

I enjoyed reading your post. You are a very pleasant talented person. I like that. Looks like everything is working out now. Let us know how the performance goes. :) #steemitbloggers


In the end, we arrived... But in the wrong city, and we travelled further by train afterwards! The first performance went well, second one (different city) tonight... But the last one got cancelled due to the earthquake! Bad luck on this part of the tour!,


Just stay safe and enjoy this the best you can.

That sounds crazy! I was following the news about the storms in Japan too! Unbelievable! How was it there??


Incredibly humid and hot! I didn't see much of the damage, as our schedule pretty much involves travel, hotel and concert hall... With no time for anything else.

We have a free day tomorrow as the earthquake in Sapporo meant that the concert hall was closed for safety, and the concert ended up being cancelled, but that was the only effect that directly affected us!