Japan is our most anticipated destination. Evan and Vivian love Japanese food (mostly udon and ramen) and Vivian has been teaching herself manga and amine art for a couple of years.
When we reached Da Nang airport in Vietnam for our flight to Tokyo, we got our last bowls of pho and picked up some free masks. Everybody, literally everybody else at the airport were already in masks. The coronavirus has hit the headlines.
At Haneda airport in Tokyo fewer people are in masks. Jo had booked us rooms at the airport hotel. We get into bed. By 01:30 Evan and I turn out the lights. A half hour later as we are about to fall into deep sleep I feel like I’m on a waterbed and someone is gently but forcefully rocking the waterbed.
“Hey Evan, is your bed shaking too?”
“Yes it is”
I get out of bed and stand up. “Uh oh, the floor is shaking too. It’s an earthquake!”
We draw the heavy blackout curtains back and look out of our 9th floor window. Cars and buses and trains are running normally outside. We see some people walking in the street below. The shaking has stopped. No one is running down the hallway outside.
Welcome to Japan, I tell Evan. He isn’t perturbed. I check google to confirm that there was a 5.3 earthquake a few minutes ago. We turn off the lights and close the window curtains and go back to sleep. Next morning Jo tells us of an almost identical reaction in her and Vivian’s room while we sit across from the airport Seven-11 and eat onigiri and marvel at the variety of KitKats and we plan how to make our way to the Airbnb.