My trip back to Tokyo was effortless. An easy bus ride to the Nagasaki airport, a courteous security check that did not require shoes to be removed and which questioned, tested, then returned my measly 3 oz. of water (with apologies for making me wait an extra 15 seconds). There was free WiFi, TV sound turned down, food and drink at every turn, and a nice view out the windows of the boarding area. I flew on Solaseed, a no-frills airline started in 2002 in Miyazaki, Kyushu after the domestic market was deregulated.
What I will also remember is the tarmac crew (two young women in overalls and a man conducting traffic) standing there and waving goodbye using their entire right arm. When the plane turned away from the terminal and fully onto the runway to start its taxi, these three people bowed deeply, sustaining it for a couple seconds before going about their business. Quite touching…a kind of ritual that has to be done even if there is no audience to appreciate it.
Back to my son’s amazing 7th fl. apartment on the edge of Shinjuku, although after one week away, the construction sounds on adjacent buildings has grown more insistent. I’ll probably move to a hotel for a couple nights since I have two letters of recommendation to write, a textbook chapter I wrote (and illustrated w/ mostly my photos) for Oxford to review, and preparations to make before heading to Bali on Monday.
Oh yes, and there will probably be a typhoon (number 27) that comes through on Fri. and Saturday, with another one pushed further out to sea at the same time. My son will head to Hiroshima for a TV broadcast on the production of sake in which he is the lead actor, but hopefully the typhoon won’t be that rough on travel plans. (More about him in a later post…)
In the next couple days, I will also update this record of events that took place earlier in the month. Here is the view from his place after the last typhoon roared through just before I left for Nagasaki. Unfortunately, some 28 people were killed due to mudslides on an island to the far south of Tokyo.