the flight was horrendous... but we have survived to tell the tale so here it is.
(and now that I am home watching Japanese TV at its best in front of the fire it doesn't seem as bad as it did :) )
Our flight from Napier to Auckland was good - I was on a bit of 'packing queen' high after finding out luggage weighed total of 93 kgs - out of possible 95kg for Korean Air International flight. A bit of rearranging of suitcases in Auckland - because of course Airlines don't make it easy by having the same allowances per piece of luggage! Hub had brought over all my mail for me (of his own accord not because I couldn't hangout for an extra five days) and amongst it was a grade up to morning calm grade for Korean Air - allowing me an extra 10kg of luggage. Saved the day I tell you.
At Auckland we checked in first up (with a checkin girl who was bit challenged as found out later had not been given boarding passes for flight from Seoul to Fukuoka like we usually do - and got me in trouble with Korean transit counter girlie)
Met Lucy and her mum at the International terminal for quick slug of coffee and then took two tired past it kids who had been up since before five through the departure gates to wait for our boarding call. Both kids still had the shits so there were a few nappy changes (one of which involved lightening speed change behind plastic planter) but for the most part they spent a good time watching Shou hurl his ambulance down the side of the escalator. We decided against being the first on the plane and waited almost right until the end.
Five minutes before the plane is due to take off and Shou does biggest 'better out than in' explosion that fortunately I was the only one privy too or the air hostee might have sent us back off the plane in fear of having international shitting explosion on hands. Shou seemed non plussed and I cleaned everything up in corner in front of seat. I had to laugh really as thought was a show of the next twelve hours to come. Fortunately that was the worst of those experiences although there were a good few trips to the toilet - one that involved me and Marina AND Shou. Conclusion - plane toilets not made for fat pregnant mother trying to change one and a half year old on baby change table made for three month old while two and half year old stands at her heels trying to unravel two rolls of loo paper. All fun and games though and even managed to roll most of loo paper back up. If you happen to notice that the toilet paper is rolled up quite loosely next time you are on an airplane toilet then send a sympathetic look to all the mothers of toddler age children you see on the way back to your seat!!
Both kids probably only slept a combined total of three hours on the twelve hour flight and it seemed that the plane was flying through bloody turbulence for ninety percent of the flight, meaning seat-belt sign was switched on 24/7 and nazi air hostees weren't cutting us parents of 'want-to-run-down-the-aisles' children any slack.
Got into Seoul at about eight and headed straight to the transit counter. We were going to be staying at an inner-city hotel, free of charge, for the night before our connecting flight this morning. We were next in line at the counter - with half a flight load of Germans and Kiwis behind us when Marina absolutely power chucked all over me. I had JUST put on a new jersey and had her wrapped in a fluffy blanket. We got annihilated just as the transit counter girl called us. Marina looked suitably traumatised by experience which left me in perfect situation for demanding we be allowed through transit and a room at the transit hotel. Nothing like a sick looking baby and a front load of vomit for getting people to quicken things up. The four of us went as is through security and up to transit and to the transit counter on the other side where I got told off for 'obviously having lost my boarding passes'. We got issued new ones (and told to tear up the old ones when I found them!!) and given a free room at the transit hotel and vouchers for breakfast.
We got ro our room at about eight fifty and by about eight fifty three Marina and I were stripped and in the shower. She vomited twice more before any of us started getting any sleep - which was probably only about two or three hours anyway. Up at five and checked out by six. Was moving on automatic pilot but Marina, who had probably had the least sleep, was all in for entertaining the passengers waiting in the departure lounge by practicing her walking and extremely fast crab crawl/walk. I got called on briefly by airport staff to translate for a Japanese man. Haven't spoken nice Japanese in any sense of the word in the last eight weeks so was small wonder I didn't tell the very distinguished gentleman to keep the volume down, stop dropping food or that he was in need of a time out - finishing with a bit of cup throwing of course. Keep one handy at all times as don't know when going to be so tired and stressed that plastic cup throwing is going to be needed.
In all fairness our flight from Seoul to Fukuoka was almost the epitome of the perfect flight. Both kids were asleep before the plane even took off and stayed that way the whole flight. I even got a normal cup of coffee - as opposed to one topped half up with cold water or with six baby milks in it so can drink faster. Got through customs in Japan without a hitch and ushered straight through the luggage check - much to Hub's dismay as he got a total going over on his way back on his own and all his luggage got checked.
We stopped shortly after starting our car trip back to Kunimi for some udon and rice, which both the kids chomped back. I was a little dazed as the whole 'being back in Japan' thing started to sink in. Didn't really sink in properly though until got back here to noddy house where biggest thing is sink. Shou and Marina, used to big spacious rooms at Granny A's, had to resort to doing laps of the lounge and hallway in order to work off pent up energy after spending close to 48 hours cooped up in one form of transport or an other.
Granny K was all over the kids and they were very excited about seeing her. Shou wouldn't let her our of her sight and even wanted to have his bath with her - am very glad I wasn't quite as excited to see her. About ten minutes home and I comment about horrific smell coming from cupboard in hall - Hub agrees it smells like a dead rat or something. He went up into roof through cupboard and found huge pile of ferret or similar pooh. He cleaned it up and declared that first thing tomorrow morning he was going to cut back the plum tree outside Granny K's room - the only plausible conclusion for medium sized animals to be able to get into roof - unless there is new breed of pipe shimmying ferrits or tanukis. Granny K said the animals would have crapped up there because the typhoon shutters were across the windows in the hall the whole time.
Would love to cut her head open and see the workings inside too.
This led to me asking if shutters (and therefore windows) had been across the entire time was away. Yes, they had - house must have got good occasional airings out!! If had been aired out at all maybe Granny K or hub would have noticed smell before crap pile got so big. Ah well. Wasn't expecting nice clean and nice smelling house when got back anyway. Have farbreezed (air freshener) it to within an inch of its life now.
Granny K made a few comments about the kids - their change in hair color due to foreign diet - even though this somehow made Marina's hair lighter and Shou's hair darker. She did something quite strange before. Shou went into her room after dinner. Hub went in and said that in five minutes he was going to clean his teeth and get ready for bed. Exactly five minutes later Granny K turns off the light in her room and heads out silently through the front door and locks it behind her, leaving Shou crying in her pitch black room!! ??? !!
After calming Shou down and telling him Granny had gone to work (pole dancing in Kunimi on a Saturday night perhaps) and he could play with her lots tomorrow Granny K comes back in and stands outside the lounge door - silhouette outlined in stein glass panel. Whisper to hub to tell her not to come in as not going through the Shou parting from Granny K thing again before bed. I am still a bit perplexed as to reason behind hasty exit outside and leaving Shou in darkness. Am hoping maybe is start of her becoming senile in which case my eight year wait until she turns eighty might be shortened.
Anyway, the kids were both in bed and zonked by ten to seven. It is just after half eight and I am heading that way myself. I have unpacked all our hand luggage so only have 93 kgs of luggage to deal with over the next week or so!!