Leaving Tokyo during a typhoon

It has been raining all week, but tonight it’s different: it’s pouring. My feet are completely wet and I am sitting in a white Mercedes limousine at night. Being driven through the city of Tokyo. I am heading to the Haneda airport. Strong winds are coming up and the drum sound of the rain drops is getting more intense. The lights are beautiful, the mood is a bit apocalyptic. Tomorrow there will be no school for the kids of Tokyo, 300 national flights have been cancelled. And I am on my way to the airport …

Typhoon “Lan” is supposed to hit Tokyo at 3 am in the morning. My flight is at 1 am. I am not sure if this ride to Haneda makes sense or if I am going to be stuck in Tokyo. There are obviously worse places to be stranded at.

The other day I have met a guy from the US who used to have his own Hurricane blog. He got super excited about this natural extreme and was researching every source on the web for more details about “Lan”. The satellite images he came up with were impressive and of a certain calm beauty. Reality of spring floods, big waves, heavy winds and landslides are not. So what should I do? Freak out? Rebook? Enjoy?

My flight is not cancelled yet. As I arrive at the international terminal there is no one. Not a single taxi or car in the drop off zone. One guard guides me the way to the escalator. Upstairs at check in there are finally people. Check- In. Security. Passport control. Done in 8 minuets.

Rain is getting heavier, winds are getting tougher and I am boarding a plane.

My chucks are still soaking wet. I admit, there are better shoes to wear during a extra rainy night like this. I am think by myself: “It should be alright, the airline and the airport know the risks and will make responsible decisions.” As I take my seat the captain announces straight forward: “There will be a lot of turbulences during the next 2 hours. There will be no service during that time. Please always fasten your seat belts.” By now it is 1:08 am and we are leaving the terminal. I am too tired to stay awake. We are taking off. I can feel the turbulence, but I got to sleep.

I start questioning why I got on this plane. No panic, but questions in my head. And this is the moment you realize how small you are as an individual, how real nature is and that you have to trust in and rely on others.

I just landed in Frankfurt. Everything is fine.

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