12 hour flight from San Francisco to Narita, Tokyo. That’s where the trouble starts. Exhausted and hung over, we then spend 5 hours going through Covid procedures. We being Japanese citizens and permanent residents, no tourists nor strolling foreigners are allowed into Japan.
It is awful. We pass from desk to desk to have various forms stamped. We wait and then shuffle off to the next desk. We finally have PCR tests and wait for a long time for results. Everything is in Japanese as only Japanese are allowed in anyway. I am everlasting grateful to Taki san, who runs a diving business in Tokyo. He explains what is going on and generally holds my hand.
By the time I get through it all, I have missed my connecting flight to Okinawa from Haneda, another airport the other side of Tokyo and after much difficulty find a very expensive airport hotel. I am asleep about 3 minutes after I get into the room.
However, all bad things come to an end and the next morning I get an early bus across Tokyo to Haneda.
ANA, the world’s best airline, are wonderful and put me on the first flight to Okinawa.
Things immediately revert to Okinawa bliss. I phone the car rental guy,” Neil san, welcome back! Car ready in 30 minutes!”
Such a great car!
I drive to Ginowan Town Hall because my health insurance card is no longer valid.
A young lady employee sees me looking helpless, sits me down and 5 minutes later returns with card that gives me another year of free healthcare. Thank you. 15 minutes.
Straight to my local clinic. 15 minutes wait and then I get chest Xray, ECG. blood test, urine test, examination by Nagasaki sensei. Next day I return for results. He tells me that I am as fit as dog apart from high uric acid because I drink too much. I have lost 18 kilos since my check up last year! God bless America.
I get pills to lower uric acid level. The whole deal costs me 2,600 Yen. Incredible!
I check on the boat.
I bump into Kiyuna san. The Harley is back in business and he now has a puppy that lives in a bag slung over his chest.
“10:00 tomorrow Neil san we will check engine and everything is working!” He is a good friend.
I have wonderful lunch with two dear friends and then go to the specs shop. I noticed on the long drive that my vision was blurred. They immediately organize for an English speaker to give me an eye test by video link to Tokyo.
Japan is incredible. Every thing is so easy even though I do not speak the language. All the above and much more took place during a 3 day span. Thank you.