For work, I was required to leave the safety and comfort of Japan for the unknowable dangers of the US. Media and corporate “risk managment” departments had warned of the grave dangers of traveling to Canada and the US, while many workers have been outright forbidden to visit Mexico because of the terrible risk of swine flu.
My goal was to wear my face mask for the entire 17 day trip. I started by wearing it in the Narita airport in Japan. No one was at all surprised to see a passenger with a face mask there. If anything, I feel it makes me look more Japanese. I kept it on until passing through immigration and customs in the US.
On a flight from SF to LA, I was the only passenger with a mask. Waiting to be picked up in LA, a small child asked her dad why that strange man was wearing a mask. Unfortunately, I was unable to wear the mask on a daily basis, and on my flight back from LA, an attractive guy on the plane next to me made me forgot about my vow to wear the face mask at least on all plane trips.
The highlights of my trip included seeing my family, visiting a few friends, making sure that my SF garden was alive (it is!), fulfilling my duties to the foundation and our sacred Alliance, and eating corn beef, soft shell crab, lobster roll, Salvadoran and Mexican food.
Some random photos of the trip are below.
And finally, I managed to return to Japan with all the protection that I left it. I was very pleased that the Japanese authorities allowed my re-entry.