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Trans Pacific Adventures

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Beautiful shot! Had not seen this 747-8F (NCA) Cargo livery before...thanks for posting.

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Reminds me of my one and only Pacific crossing, and longest point to point flights, when I flew NWA to Tokyo, then to Guam, then back again out of my home airport then, SFO, in 1992.  And the flights actually began a bit more than two weeks prior, when I flew from SFO to Orlando via Delta to visit Epcot and Disneyworld for the very first time.  At the Japan pavilion there as I was marveling at the blue roof, having just enjoyed ginger cake which they no longer seem to server there, I thought to myself, "I would love to see Japan someday".  The next day while I was still at Epcot my Mom got ahold of me and said I should not consider extending my trip, that someone I had applied for a job with was trying to get ahold of me desperately for an interview.  So I flew home, T-minus six days before leaving for Tokyo.  I thought the interview was for another job I had applied with in Bakersfield, a former client of mine that wanted to hire me to run their hotel front office.  So ignoring the other caller I drove from Napa to Bakersfield for that interview.  In Bakersfield my Mom called me again and said--call the other people, they are desperately wishing to interview you.  But I thought their ad was sketchy since the ad said they would not reveal who I was applying for until they accepted me for the job.....  But I decided to humor them, interviewed by taking Bart from Walnut Creek to SFO.  Almost missed the interview because I could not find parking, finally had to park way out in the dirt, walking nearly a mile to the station.

I interviewed outdoors at a lunch they gave me, in downtown SFO.  I barely made it home when they asked me to take the job, but it was in Guam.  I wisely replied I could not take it Guam site unseen and my father, who served in Guam and who loved the island, still warned me about the expense of living there.  The employer then asked if I would interview with Genentech's head of HR for a psychological profile.  I had no worries about that type of interview since I took psychology from my college professor, a wonderful guy, and cultural anthropology from another professor, another wonderful guy.  Both came in handy when they finally revealed they wanted me as rooms and hotel manager for Pacific Island club, a Timeshare resort of sorts in Guam, beautiful place.

And that is how I ended up with my Epcot dream come true, in Tokyo, and staying in a hotel on my return from two nights at PIC in Guam.

I was offered the job again when I got home, they had expected me to stay there.  But they fell back on offering me housing even though I offered to just accept a room in their hotel.  Their staff took too much a liking to me and they said they could not afford to subsidize my housing off site.  Average rent back then for a studio: $1500 a month, half of what they wanted to offer me and more than that after taxes.  In Phoenix today I rent for a third of that, a one bedroom, furnished with utilities paid.

So the moral of the story is if you are ever asked to relocate, do what I did, wherever in the world you are asked to live, as we pilots friends and travelers love to do, we love to see the world and be cultural ambassadors for whatever culture we are from.

In the end, my potential employer, knowing they had lost, said sheepishly "at least you got a free trip to Japan and Guam"....  Rejecting that job allowed me to accept the best offer nine months later, become a business systems instructor for a firm out of Washington DC, the job that led me to the daughter my ex wife and I love today....

So spooky how my wish at Epcot came true a week later as I saw the blue tile roofs of the countryside surrounding Narita and the beautiful green hues and farmland and rice paddies like I had never seen before.

Thanks for this post which adds context to that whirlwind two weeks of 1992...


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