I’m off to Japan again for a fortnight from tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it as a break, a chance to do some travelling in Japan, and most of all to see N——.

I’m almost ready. Bags packed. Fingernails trimmed—because we’re not allowed to take anything as dangerous as a pair of nail clippers aboard. “For your safety”, although of course it’s just for show. “Look how we’ve tightened our security!” I’m sure that the psychological impact of unreasonable restrictions is equally important to them. Keeps the travellers in their places.

Let’s be honest. An airport is just about the furthest your rights get eroded outside of incarceration. Does it improve security, though? I think it’s debatable. Bomb sniffers and scanners seem to work to an extent. However, almost anything can be a weapon with a little ingenuity, and although they can detect the obvious guns, bombs and knives, that still leaves a lot of things.

However, I’m sure it serves their purpose to have us empty our pockets, remove our shoes, get patted down, all the time surrounded by people in uniforms that seem designed to evoke feelings of oppression.

That’s my reading of the whole situation. I’m willing to accept that I might just be paranoid.

The fact is, though, I hate airports. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t have any problem with flying. I simply hate the whole airport process: getting there; waiting around; the nervousness of wondering if I’ll make my connection; fretting over the weight of my baggage (not this time, though); hoping that my baggage will make it there with me and without too much attention from the riflers and throwers.

It’s quite late now, but I’m suffering from the dilemma of whether to go to bed early and try to get plenty of sleep, or to sleep less and catch it up on the plane. The truth is that there is no solution. No matter what I do, I’ll be tired when I arrive around 08:40 on Friday morning. Flying east is always hard. Flying west, by comparison, is much easier: leave in the morning, arrive in the evening, with just a rather long day in between. It’s not much worse than a late night partying, in terms of sleep schedule interruption. That has always been my experience, anyway.

Assuming that everything goes well, I’m hoping to do lots of travelling, photography, writing and resting—and I’m not taking my computer. Should be nice.