It took a long time to get to Japan this time in October.
We were delayed in Los Angeles for three hours, two of which we sat on the runway. The reason? "Paperwork." Apparently this problem requires that passengers wait ON the plane and IN their seats while such paperwork is completed. (Thanks, United and the New Star Alliance.)
I started watching "Ben-Hur" on the in-flight entertainment - if you recall, it is three hours long - and I saw over two thirds of the film prior to liftoff.
The delay resulted in missing our connection to Nagoya, and by the time we disembarked in Narita all domestic flights had been cancelled because of the typhoon. We were to spend the night in Narita and catch a flight for the following evening. Well, what can you do but go with it? I'm a firm believer that you can have fun wherever you are, if you want to.
The next morning we discovered there was only one train line running out of Narita. The route to Chiba was open, and we thought, hey, why not, let's take a train ride. At the least we can enjoy the passing scenery. The train ran very... slowly. But we arrived in Chiba! I started looking around, trying to take everything in when I saw it - like a siren calling seafarers - an arcade filled with UFO Catcher machines.
On past trips we rarely attempted playing on the machines, but now that the yen and the USD were fairly similar in value, we were amenable to the idea of pouring 100 yen coins into the slots. We had also studied past players' advice online, so with that information we were raring to go.
Amanda happens to be very good at using the claw-operated machines due to her early days of training in the local Del Taco restaurant. She did not win every time, but enough that we got pretty excited about it. "I wonder if this is how gambling feels," she commented. We were having a ridiculously good time. With a bag full of prizes, we headed back to Narita to catch our flight to Nagoya and continue the quest for the next UFO Catcher Machine.