More miscellaneties: My flight gave me a stop at Tokyo-Narita; I've had Hong Kong stops more often lately and I'm a bit amazed I have trends in my round-the-world flights. Atypically, there's something strange at Narita. To make a connection, the plane stops on the tarmac, you walk down those little sliding metallic stairs like in 1960s footage of Adlai Stevenson addressing the Beatles at Idlewild, and go to a packed shuttle-bus. Then they drive past eternal construction, to a terminal.
Then (I think this is all) into the building, left, right, up the escalators, out, back, to the security screeners (they give laminated ``claim checks'' for your basket of pocket items), left, left, down an escalator, forward, left, and straight to the new gate. If you make it they give you a slice of cheddar and a belly-rub. I've only once (I think) avoided the tarmac ritual; we got in late and were told we had 41 seconds to connect. They pulled that plane up to the gate next to our connecting one, and we ran.
But, then, the service staff at Narita wear great, shiny metallic-stuff with red-stripes-down-the-side uniforms. It's been a happy fourteen years since I had a job requiring a uniform, but if I must, I'd like one that screams ``Ace of Space Rocket Squadron Cadet''.
Trivia: ``Helpmate'' was formed by a folk-etymological correction of ``help meet'' (as in, ``help fitting/fit for''). Source: The origins and development of the English language, Thomas Pyles and John Algeo.
Currently Reading: Living Dolls: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life, Gaby Wood.