I wake up and it is Xmas day in Okinawa. It is blue, blue and warm. I take coffee on the roof and then stroll along the beaches. I pick up the night’s deposit of plastic bottles and muse on why the Son of God did not send Seagulls to Okinawa. There are none; a few rare Terns but no Gulls nor Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Fulmars, Gannets, Murres, Loons, Shearwaters. There is tons of food.
This leads me to wonder who scavenges the beaches. Normally there are gulls gobbling down dead stuff but not here. In fact there is not much dead stuff on the beaches, although there was a puffer fish this morning. Maybe it never makes it to the beaches, having been devoured by all the fish and crabs. Ah crabs – maybe that is the answer. There are a lot of crabs of both normal-ish and hermit kinds.
Anyway I go to the university to do last minutes chores. Xmas day is a normal working day here. A friend then drives me to the airport. En route she asks if I have got my Green Card. Hmm I have left it in my desk drawer. This means detour to the house and general delay resulting in my usual heart churning “Am I going to miss the flight?” scenario. I don’t but nearly do.
So now I am in Narita waiting for the flight to San Francisco. It is 5:00 pm on Xmas day and I have not had a drink! I think I must have been about 10 the last time this happened. I will try not to repeat this during my second birth of sweet baby Jesus day tomorrow.
They stop me as I go through the gate. UPGRADE! I used to have reasonable status on United but lost it when I moved to France. I then moved up the ladder with Air France but hit the snake when I moved to Japan. In the last two years I have been in the doldrums, I suppose gently building status with ANA but I do not have an ANA mileage status card nor do I receive info about miles and stuff. UPGRADE! Total surprise, I must be on a list. Thank you Son of God – best Xmas present for some time. I am writing this on the plane, which is a brand new Boeing 777. I am going to spend the next 9 hours, why so short? being indulged by hostess Uchabe-san who is clearly determined that I have a memorable trip. Yay- fly ANA!