4th of July 2024 – Return from Japan

It is 12:56 AM on July 5th, 2024. I returned from Tokyo yesterday after an incredible 14 day trip. It is always sad to leave Japan but I accomplished everything I needed to and left very satisfied. I’ll write more about the trip in a later post. In this post I’ll write about the return trip and the 4th of July.

I arrived at Narita extremely early so just sat myself on a bench waiting for check-in to open. Looking at the counter chart for ZipAir it specified rows C/D and so I placed myself in front of D. Unfortunately I didn’t realize they opened the C counters and by the time I did there was a huge line that took an hour of waiting to get through. This was a bummer because I had wanted to go to my usual bar “Tatsu” in the terminal and now time was cut short.

I eventually made it to the bar but was informed they were closed. However, if I just wanted a drink and no food that was OK. So I got a beer and sat a few seats away from a black woman who was in my usual spot. We exchanged greetings and almost instantaneously started up a conversation. I noticed her British accent and it turns out she was living/working in Korea, it was her birthday and she came to Japan just on a day trip as she has a cat to take care of. I congratulated her on her birthday, bought her a drink and we got to talking about all things Asia. It was a pleasure meeting her but again, time was short so we only spoke for a half an hour.

After I had taken my seat an elderly Chinese man took the middle and tried to explain something to the flight attendant in Chinese. She only spoke Japanese and English and the translation on his phone didn’t help as it just said he had lost his clothes which were not in his carry on. I noticed the person across the aisle speaking Mandarin and so he translated that the gentleman had forgotten his jacket at customs. This made me worried since we were in store for a 9 hour flight and it would be cold.

I decided to find a blanket for this man but on Zipair you have to pay for everything. Their WIFI was able to connect but was unable to connect to the internet. This made me wonder if we would be able to shop due to the wifi issue since the message on the shopping page said it was closed. Apparently it only opens after the flight attendants serve the first round of food to those that had purchased it. The flight attendants were also rather lacking in their explanation, seemed very rushed and did not take the time to help me resolve the issue. Although the internet was down I could make it to the shopping page but couldn’t login, not even as a guest. On the fifth attempt contacting the flight attendants, this time using the call button she came over, turned it off and I greatly encouraged her to help me figure out the problem.

Coming over and turning off my call button reminded me of the time, as a kid I had just wanted some water and after 20 minutes a United flight attendant came over and told me to turn it off without asking what I needed. Some flight attendants should be fired. But on this time I had her stay with me and she finally explained that i would need to use all capital letters for my name and not put a space between my seat row and letter to finally be able to login. All I was trying to do was get the poor man a blanket and it didn’t have to be such an ordeal. What I learned is Zipair flight attendants are stressed and don’t know enough about their own shopping functionality.

After returning home I fed the fish, opened the windows, took a shower then went to go retrieve our puppy which I was greatly looking forward to doing. In a sleepy daze on the plane I had wondered if it would be safe to drive with jetlag but I was wide awake after the shower and fresh change of clothes.

As for the 4th I was not in a celebratory mood. My puppy just had a wonderful stay at our friends and brining her back home to constant loud bangs isn’t the best welcome back. I’m also going to be a bit of a scrooge because I was also jetlagged, just wanted to sleep and that is hard to do when it sounds like a war going on outside. Also, our neighbors with young kids were throwing a celebration with the youngsters alternating between excited cries of the fireworks, and also just plain crying, which after having young kids myself could tell most of the cries were fake.

Also, after coming home from an incredibly clean country like Japan, the 4th of July strikes me as a time when people create a lot of unnecessary noise and pollution. The air quality index is currently at extremely unhealthy which explains why my air purifier has been running at 100%. Tomorrow morning we can expect to wake up to piles of exploded firework trash in the street. Americans certainly celebrate and when they do you can expect trash everywhere. This was normal to me until I lived in Japan and now is abhorrent.

Furthermore, our entire democracy is on the line with the wanna be dictator Trump. Isn’t it ironic that we’re celebrating independence from a monarch when half the country is actively trying to create a new one? How stupid is that. This is especially concerning after the Supreme Court just decided that presidents can be immune from prosecution for “official acts.” I feel like I’m living in the stupidest timeline and the celebration especially reminds me of this quote.

“The forms remained the same, only the spirit had changed. What took place in these forms now was different from what had taken place before.”

Defying Hitler – Sebastian Haffner

This is extremely relevant to today. We celebrate independence day but half the country is supporting what will turn out to be a dictatorship and they are actively supporting it. They have formed a cult under Trump and it looks like there will be very dark days ahead.

Well, that is what I wanted to write about and see it is now 1:30 AM but my body thinks it is 5:31 PM. The jet lag coming back from Japan is always the worst. I also have to work tomorrow but am hoping for a very slow day since the Friday falls between the 4th and the weekend. I know I’ll be dragging and it will be very hard to keep my eyes open come 1:00 PM.

It is 9:06 AM the following morning. I take the puppy out to do her business and see the neighbors coming out as well to clean up from their party the night before. To my dismay I hear the mother say the following.

“Daddy has one more firework Josie, do you want to watch? Daddy has one more firework.”

Not wanting to seem like a grinch I remained silent hoping it would be of the smaller variety. But nope, one of the larger ones shoots up above our heads, explodes with a bang, and trash floats down into my yard and on my roof. It scares the crap out of the dog and now she refused to leave my side. The fourth of July has quickly become my least favorite holiday.

I’m a little worried about my solar panels. They set off a ton of fireworks and I’m really hoping no hot ashes landed on them. Will have to do a manual inspection as well as clean up trash off my roof.

Categorized as Journal

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/