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.
The husband says I look “ayashii” (あやしい), not to be confused with the boy band “Arashi” (嵐, literally Storm), a popular boy band. No, I look suspicious. Better strange looking than sorry, I think.
The towel and sunglasses mark the arrival of summer. And the mask, well, Japan has just recorded over 100 swine flu cases since Friday, making it global #4 after Mexico, the US, and Canada.
So “ayashii ojiisan” went in this get-up on the JR, and to my very first sumo match. At the entrance, we were offered liquid hand sanitizer. Here’s another image.
During avian flu, I felt detached because of my distaste for poultry. Swine flu is a direct hit to my stomach. It seems the masks have turned from white to blue. This photo of Mexican nuns shows that even Jesus-loving ladies are terrified. Mi dios! I will sublimate my fear with tonkastsu, tonkotsu ramen, hot dogs, sausage and bacon!