A week ago, we were idly enjoying some farm-fresh edamame in a small bar in Nakasu, Fukuoka when Alex texted that there was some trouble brewing in the Northern part of the Atlantic. We dashed back down Sumiyoshi Hakata-ku to our hotel concierge to see if we could possibly get the first Continental non-stop flight to Guam. From there we could speed around the globe on the reverse instead (Guam may seem like a strange choice, but however cosmopolitan Fukuoka has become, this is their only non-domestic flight hub). The kind and service-minded concierge made energetic phone calls to this second-rate carrier but unfortunately could not help. It looked like a prolonged stay due to our sub-pole friends.
However, a volcano or two should not dampen any true traveller´s spirit. Instead, we reflected on the more underrated means of transportation – Airbus 330s aside – that somehow seems to have been left behind. We are of course referring to the palanquin. In times where aircraft and high-speed rail aren’t available or sufficient, alternate means of transport need to be considered. And what better way to catch up on both sunshine and the finishing touches on next weeks column than being carried in style?
Although the palanquin would not have resolved our troublesome Fukuoka-Tokyo-Zürich-Bern route, we could at least have made it to Shikanoshima Island. In a sophisticated fashion.