Perry on the plane

Dear bear friends:

This is your friend, Perry, a bear in the air. I'm writing to you from somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. I can see land far off to the right of me: the coast of Washington State!

We are on our way to Tokyo. An hour ago, our Boeing 747-400 took off from San Francisco International Airport. In nine more hours, we will arrive in Japan. I thought you might like to hear what it's like to travel on a long plane flight!

Our jet plane is very, very large--so large that it has two stories! On a plane (or a ship), they're called "decks". I'm sitting with Miss Cynthia, Doctor Steve, and my good friend, Miss Catherine in the upper deck of our plane. More passengers sit beneath us, in the lower deck.

There is so much to see and to do on the plane! Just in front of us is a television screen. During the flight, we can see a map of our flight path. A little plane marks how far we've traveled. The television shows our altitude (35,000 feet), our speed (600 miles per hour), and the time to go until we reach our destination.

In front of each seat, there is a magazine pocket. There's a magazine with stories about Japan, a menu card (we have fish for lunch, yum!), and a card with safety information.

What's this? A pair of headphones? Miss Cynthia adjusts the headset around my ears, but they weren't designed for bears! The headphones keep slipping down around my muzzle! Never mind--I can hear several different channels of music on my headset.

Suddenly, my musical interlude is interrupted. Lunchtime! I sit on Miss Cynthia's lap and nibble bites from her lunch. Goodness! The filet of sole with mustard sauce is delicious--but I can't say the same for the dessert. Almond jello? Ick, pfft, ptooey! (Miss Cynthia scolds me here, for making faces.)

While we eat our lunch, we watch a news program on the television. Only one problem: it's a Japanese news program, and we don't understand a word! Miss Cynthia and I have a good time trying to guess what the program is saying. Here is a story about virtual pets, like Tamagotchis. Look! It's the sports segment, and there is a sumo wrestling match. We laugh as we try to decide what everyone is saying.

Yawn. I am feeling so sleepy! Lunch has been cleared away, and it's time for all little bears to take a nap. I think I will, too!

[Several hours later.] Yawn! That was a nice nap!

I have to write very quietly. All my friends from the Symphony are watching a movie on the little televisions. It is a very exciting movie, with much running up and down stairs. The airplane is very quiet, though, because everyone is listening to the movie on the little headsets. I look around and rub my eyes with my paws.

It's a good thing I had such a nice nap, because this is a very, very long day. It seems as if the sun has been high in the sky forever! Miss Cynthia says that when we fly to the west, we "follow" the sun--and our "day" becomes very long.

Oh! Now we are having a snack: ice cream! Ice cream for Miss Cynthia, ice cream for Doctor Steve, and ice cream for Perry Bear. I LIKE traveling on airplanes!

Your bear friend,

Perry Bear Ewer

P.S. If you can read this, we are in Tokyo, SLEEPING.

Perry's Travels: