It’s been a while since my last post. To be honest not much has happened in the last 16 months so there’s been little to write home about. But now… we travel once more to the land of the rising sun.. JAPAN.
I write this with a great sense of pride because I have achieved a lifetime goal. Not one that I set for myself in ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’ class, but I can’t believe I get to say this… I’m working at my THIRD Olympic Games. The third one, three Olympic Games. London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. I have to pinch myself.
It wasn’t the easiest mission to get to compared to recent events, but we know the world is not for travelling at the moment. You can’t even sit in a pub with more than 6 people at a table so I’m fully aware how privileged I am to have travelled from the UK to the other side of the world.
The week before my travel date, Japan had added the UK to its red list due to the Delta variant. Travelling from a red list country I now had to get tested each day 3 days prior to my departure. This test had to be done in London or at Bournemouth Airport, which is over an hour’s drive from my house and £99 per test. Ouch.
After receiving the negative results, three government letters signed by the doctor, a certificate of eligibility, a written pledge, an invitation letter and a completed questionnaire I was off on my way to Heathrow Terminal 5.
The flight was fairly full considering we are in a pandemic, but I managed to get lucky with a three seater to myself, which I would take full advantage of later that night by laying down and getting some sleep. Who needs business class? Just the one movie watched on the 12-hour flight. Jumanji 2, three stars.
I arrived in Tokyo at 2pm local time which was about 7am in the UK and for my body clock. We were ushered to a covid test straight away where we all had to spit into a funnel that is placed into a test tube. Individual funnels and individual test tubes may I add. I waited patiently for my number to be called up so that I could proceed to immigration. The announcers would call the numbers over the tannoy for the latest negative test results.
“Number 314, 315 and 316 come to the gate please”
That’s great I thought. I’m next, I held my ticket in my hand number 318. I’m ready, set me free into Tokyo…
“Number 317” she paused … “319 and 320 please proceed to the gate”
huh, what? what happened to 318, that’s my number, why have they skipped my result? Have I….have I tested positive? Are they going to put me into a pen for two weeks all alone, this will be one embarrassing walk of shame if I’m ushered away by the Quarantine Police. (Which are a thing by the way).
Five of the most agonising minutes later and I heard…
“Number 318, 321, and 322 please proceed to the gate”
Holy mother of Lucifer thank you lord. I’m through. A long walk back to immigration to show all of my paper documents and eventually I was through and onto Japanese tarmac. I was met by Ken who will be a colleague of mine. He flew in from Chicago a month ago and had waited at the arrivals gate for over 3 hours with a sign saying You Got This. I really appreciated that. Not just the sign, but I’ve done the airport meeting job before and it can be a long and boring day.
As I stepped out of the airport terminal I stepped straight into a private (and luxury) taxi that would take me straight to my hotel in the city. I’d been wearing my face mask for sixteen hours now and had forgotten what fresh air felt like. I arrived at the hotel to a food parcel of chicken, bread and pasta. Luckily, I still had some of my Wine Gums left over from the flight for my desert.
I’ve now been in my hotel quarantine for nearly 60 hours. I do a covid test each morning of spitting into the funnel/test tube contraption and the hotel staff pick it up from my door at 9am whilst dropping off my breakfast. I managed to do 1800 steps in my hotel room today so trying to stay active.
It’s been a long detailed process, but the safest one and that’s what we need right now. I feel so lucky to have made it here. I’m looking forward to getting out and seeing the boxing venue very soon.
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Thanks for reading.
I know life is tough for a lot of people at the moment. My posts and words are never made to make anyone jealous or show off a ‘good’ life. I hope that my adventures can make people happy, interest people and inspire people. I hope these games will show a unity for the world again. Be kind and be a legend.