I will always remember June 30, 2011 as the day I had been in the Philippines, South Korea, Japan and United States of America!. Yea, that's four (4) countries in one (1) day! Feat, huh?. Nah. coz there is nothing ingenious about that, but simply a case of the place of departure and the place of destination being on different time zones and my penchant for long lay overs to break the twelve or so hours non-stop flight to California from Manila and to possibly meet friends during the stops.
Standard time zones are based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the mean solar time at longitude 0° (the Prime Meridian) making the local time in neighboring zones differing by one hour. There are 40 time zones on land. California, USA my destination is on No. 6 section (UTC-8:00), while Philippines (my point of departure) is on No. 30 (UTC + 8:00) and South Korea and Japan on No. 31 (UTC + 9:00) which easily explains the huge time difference.So that means, when it is morning in the Philippines, it is evening of the previous day in the California, USA.
I boarded an Asiana airlines flight from Manila, Philippines at 12:10am of June 30, 2011. After about four - hour flight, I arrived in Seoul, South Korea at 5:10 in the morning of the same day. My lay over was four hours, so I was lucky to be in the Asiana Business Lounge in Seoul. I did not bother contacting my friend to meet me because it was early morning and I bet she would be very busy since it is a weekday.
After my super pampered time at the Asiana Business lounge, I then boarded another Asiana airlines flight to Tokyo, Japan at about 9 in the morning. By 11:30, I got in the Tokyo Narita airport and I have five (5) hours lay over before my flight to San Francisco, California. Unlike my business lounge accommodations in both Manila and Seoul airports (because my boyfriend is a Gold status with Star Alliance), I wasn't invited in the business lounge in Tokyo. Bummer. The United Airlines Red Carpet lounge requires the actual presence of my boyfriend to be in the lounge (which was not the case with Asiana airlines also a Star Alliance member).
Oh well. The five hours went so fast after I was finally able to locate the free -wifi zones at the airport. Yea. Unlike other airports, the wifi is not free in Tokyo except on designated wifi spots. The key is to bring your laptop as close to the wifi table for the internet to work. This means that you have to stand up while using the internet!
The flight from Tokyo to San Francisco was eight hours. Since I knew that I will be arriving in the morning, I tried my best to sleep on the flight to avoid the jet lag. So after a movie (Lincoln Lawyer), snack, dinner and breakfast, I heard the flight attendant says " We have arrived at the San Francisco airport. The local time is 9:22am of June 30, 2011. You may wish to synchronize your time ".
June 30, 2011 was definitely quite a day! And I will remember it as my personal feat indeed!
(This is part of the 5-week US Summer Vacation series, which took place from June 30, 2011 to August 3,2011 in California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pemnsylvania, and Indiana)