Updated: Feb 1
Well, I am stuck in a hotel now for 6 days, as part of Japans COVID (aka Covoid - youse know who you are) response, so I figure I may as well document it.
First off is that from landing at Narita at 5pm, it took until nearly 2 am until I was in a hotel, at which point I was starving, shagged out, and in danger of getting a bit cranky. I am not going to get into that particularly, other than to say most of the delays are caused by the Japanese tendency to turn even the simplest task into a massively complicated set of procedures. And I accept that what they are trying to do is not a simple task.
Given the well publicised nature of this Omicron thing, as well as my own personal experience that attests to that, and along with the absolute destruction of the hospitality industry in Japan due to the continued overreaction (as I perceive it), I have to ask if it is really necessary. So, that's that, and I won't say anything further.
My first worry was that, as it became clear about midnight that we were the very last group of about 30 humans in the whole airport, and they made an announcement to the effect that the standard of accommodation could not be guaranteed, and that there may not be "amenities" (I took that to mean internet access-PANIC!!!), I was seriously worried that we were about to be dumped in a shit hole.
That wasn't the case though, and we ended up at the APA hotel, Ryogoku Eki Tower. It is pretty good as these things go.
Getting in with the rules explained, and health monitoring and checking apps explained etc. went to plan, and so 32 hours after my brother picked me up in Coventry, and having grabbed a total of maybe 3 hours kip on planes, I was in my room with a bento and bottle of water, completely exhausted and spun out, and, naturally, unable to sleep.
Nice view though. This was at about 3 am:
And it hadn't changed much by about 5:30 or so when I took this after a massive sleep of two and a half hours, although the sun is starting to come up.
There is only one thing to do in these types of situations, and so as I have been lucky enough to get quite a lot of work in during the few days prior to leaving the UK, I thought I would crack on with that.
There was an announcement about 6:30 about health condition update and I vaguely remembered being told about that last night. It involved an automated chat via the app to answer some questions and give my temperature (we have been loaned a thermometer each).
Then, first excitement of the day. BREAKFAST!!! Here is a before and after shot of the bento, utilising state-of-the-art "select the next picture" technology:
I figure I am getting three dropped off meals a day, and bugger all else, so I am eating everything they throw at me. Also, they are making good efforts to keep me hydrated. That horrible woman's face though!! She plasters her mug on EVERYTHING APA!
To finish up for now, here are some daytime shots. I am near the Tokyo Sky tree and Asakusa beer building, both of which will be evident here to those in the know.
My plan is to keep adding to this one post, and see how it goes, but I think you can pretty much expect more of the same from now on, i.e. the same view, and probably pictures of the same bento everyday!!! So stay tuned and await updates. If it gets dull I may feign a nervous breakdown and create some false news.
Well I did promise more of the same, so here's lunch, before and after:
Pretty hard to vary the view I am afraid folks, from this one window, but I will try to spot nice sunsets, and jet fighter fly by events etc.
Oh! My final meal of the day has just been left outside!!! Toody pip!!
And so here it is. I know what a lot of you are thinking. Wow! A cold burger and cold egg must be utterly amazing!!! Strangely, and to my total amazement, they were not. High-tech next-image-o-vision again tonight!
Here is tonight's more of the same. I know they are boring bit actually looking out it is pretty amazing, and seems even clearer tonight than last night.
I also had to let you hear this audio file, if I can get it to work. We get it once the meal is ready outside the room. As this is obviously use of text-to-speech, the problem here is with crappy translation. So as I am a translator, and this type of thing should be given to me, rather than someone in the government office who, to be fair, is almost certainly not being paid to be a translator, and as it also negatively impacts the public image of Japan and the authorities running this situation, I feel I have every right to complain about/ laugh at it.
I changed the page a bit but haven't been able to figure out how to position where the audio file is displayed (there are two different editors and they are doing my nut in). So, that file now appears over the room image below
Still can't sleep (at all, yet alone at the correct time), and the one crappy thin and hard pillow doesn't help. So, I got up about 3:30, did a bit of work, and then watched Huddersfield draw with Stoke at 4:45 am. It did occur to me that maybe I should show the room I am in:
Isn't it great? I have been taking walks around by the door there, and doing various exercises. (Have I though?) I can beam my lap top to that monitor, which is bigger than the available floor space, so watching telly after a hard day at the office is quite fun.
The sunrise was quite nice today. And again, these are pretty similar images but I can't help it because actually the view is spectacular to the naked eye.
And so second day breakfast. I actually really enjoyed this grilled mackerel compared to the sausage and egg of yesterday morning. I wish they would bring it every morning. Don't forget to slide the image over to check on whether or not I have been eating my greens up.
There are a lot of mountain ranges really clearly visible this morning, but they don't really show up too well on camera. I thought it was possibly Mt. Asama, but after studying the map I now think it is maybe Mt. Nantai, out Nikko way.
Well a bit of news from the My SOS app (which monitors where I am by simply confirming location or setting up AI video calls with, and tells me to input daily health check etc.). It told me that the FULL quarantine had been reduced from 10 days to 7, and to ignore any requests for location after day 8. That means I am still here for the 6 days but will be able to legally mingle with humans at the weekend.
Anyhow, I have had enough in here to be honest so I am just going to put up a set of snaps the meals, and a set of any views I like (even though to a non-inmate they may seem incredibly dull!).
And the stir crazy views!!!
Well, I am out tomorrow, and it has actually been OK. I was fortunate to have quite a bit of work in so I have been at it non-stop more or less. It would have been a lot tougher if I didn't have anything to do I think, and I have to say I saw a few families at the airport, with small children, and I think they must be having a VERY tough time of it. How on earth do you explain to a wall child that you can't leave the small cube you are in for a week. That alone makes my stay seem very easy. Anyhow, a bit of introspection to end: Portrait of the (Piss) Artist as an Inmate.
More uplifting posts to follow!