About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flying to Las Vegas

My first ever JAL Pack trip

Last week I flew to Las Vegas with four Japanese guys who also do magic. The idea was that since some of the great magicians are pretty old now, they might retire soon. And it would be good to see them perform live at least once.

We met up really really early (I had to get up at 4:30 a.m.) and flew to Narita to change planes. There we had to wait for eight hours, which was not that great. We had some nice sushi there, and I shopped a lot. I bought small ear cleaners that look like samurai swords and things like that. I buy a lot of stuff like that in a vague hope that some of them will be useful in some magic trick.

In Tokyo the sold noodles from our small zoo in Sapporo. It is surprising that a small zoo in Sapporo can reach Tokyo. It is also surprising that a zoo sells noodles.

We boarded a flight to LA, and during 11 hours I sat next to a crying kid who was about 2 years old or so. Every time he stopped crying and started playing with something, his father got mad at him for playing with something he should not touch, and then slapped the kid... So there was of course even more crying. In Sweden it is illegal to slap kids, so to me the whole concept is just foreign, but even for someone who presumably grew up in a country where hitting kids is considered OK, you could at least stop hitting your kid when you are in a plane full of people who would prefer to sleep undisturbed by kids crying from being hit by their parents...

Swedish movie in the plane!

Since there was not that much chance of sleeping, I checked what movies they were showing in the plane. They turned out to be showing a Swedish movie! I watched a bunch of Disney movies instead, though. Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and more.

These looked like they cold be good, but they were not. They were completely devoid of taste.

In LA we were met by two Japanese women from JAL Pack (we had bought a pack with JAL airplane tickets and hotel included) who walked us to the transfer desk and explained what we needed to do. Which I guess might be nice if you have never traveled abroad before or if you do not understand English. We got on a flight to Las Vegas and flew above the desert for an hour or two.

Flying over the desert we could see circular spots of irrigated land where some farming was going on.

I am not sure what these mirror like areas were. Solar power, perhaps?

There was a golf course in the middle of the desert.

Once we reached Las Vegas, more JAL Pack staff showed up and helped us find the shuttle bus taking us to our hotel, and one of them even stood in line with us at the hotel and helped us check in. There were two more from our plane who also had booked JAL Packs, but we lost them somewhere between the baggage return and the shuttle bus. Considering that the JAL Pack staff always explained everything in excruciating detail, it was quite impressive for these two to manage not to understand where to go, especially considering they just had to walk behind the rest of us. I later saw them downtown in Las Vegas, though.

In Las Vegas you can even gamble in the airport.

The whole parking lot was filled with limousines.

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