Monday, May 18, 2009

Typhoid Terrie

Well, we're back in Japan. Our plane landed in Narita last Friday only to be immediately boarded by twenty people in hazmat suits. We were ordered over the  intercom to remain seated with seat belts on, no getting up for anything. And just to make sure not a single possibly-infected person hid out in a toilet they locked all the bathrooms. 

An hour later and the passengers were starting to get nasty.

We were home less than three hours before we were contacted by J's teacher. She said that the Ministry of Health called them and said he will have to stay out of school for ten days. He also has to take his temperature twice a day and record it on a special form along with the sordid details of other body functions. She then told us she'd bring the form over as soon as possible. She did. And she totally gets brownie points for not wearing a mask and gloves while talking to us in the foyer. 

Thirty six hours after walking into the house and I get a call from some government guy who works for the Hatsu Netsu Soudan Senta (Fever Consultation Center) and he tells me that I also can't go out or see anyone. I also have to keep track of my fever etc. If I feel I must sneeze he explained to me the proper way to do that. All in all he was a nice guy. Then before he hung up he said he'd be calling me every other day until my ten days were up. 

But I guess it's okay. I mean, I really need to get the house in shape. My husband has been crazy busy at work (working weekends and late nights), so he didn't have much time to clean up after the animals. They've all gone feral. The dog, while elated to see us, didn't smell right. But I took care of that with a nice soapy bath. The cats on the other hand... they had gone into my underwear drawer, kicked out half its contents, and made several nests out of the remaining. Do cats make nests? Oh, and they also decided to pee all over the newts' cage. As you can imagine, the newts weren't happy at all.  Don't get me started on the amount of hair/fur floating around.

☆ Next blog post will be the delightful book signing and exhilarating trip to New York City, a full three weeks of meeting friends and family and friendly strangers. The only unfriendly person the entire trip was the guy in Manhattan scolded me with a, "Learn how to walk, Sweetheart!" 

Did you know in New York they call everyone 'sweetheart', 'boss', or 'big daddy'? 

P.S. I was just telling J that I'm already homesick for the States. I really wish I could have spent more time with everyone. *sigh*


Anonymous said...

Just read the guys from the Ministry of Health my post. In addition, an infection by this weak strain might actually provide some immunity from a more serious flu later on.

A true report. They held up a plane returning from Mexico to Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport because they thought a couple of passengers had the flu. Turns out it wasn't swine flu but wine flu. Too much partying in Cancun.

Kappa no He said...

Hey, I think I had a little of that Wine Flu on my flight as well. Maybe that is what was throwing them. It was funny, they had that infrared camera doohickey taking our temperatures and kept having to tell passengers (over the intercom) "Please refrain from taking flash photos of the Ministry of Health Officers as it will give false readings on their machine."

But really, dressing like that is just begging to have your picture taken.

Gina said...

You're under quarentine (house arrest) ; ) for 10 days, huh. Goodness me. And very cool of J's teacher not to wear masks and such while visiting. Big thumbs up for that.

How was Cha? I bet you and J both missed Cha a lot. Did you guys get plenty of wet sloppy pup kisses after you arrived?

And I wanted to say that I understand the feeling about being homesick after coming back to Japan, I get that way too. : (

Welcome back!!! : )

Mary Witzl said...

Hatsu-netsu sodan senta? Geez, they're taking it VERY seriously! During my daughter's stopover in Beijing yesterday, she claimed she had to fill out all sorts of 'If you're sick, get out of my country' forms. I can't wait to hear what she had to say about her flight, but then she was coming from Scotland...

Japan has been accused of overkill on this, but I still think there's some basis for their paranoia considering what could happen...

Tigermama said...

Wine Flu! LOL!

I think it's ridiculous and a total overreaction. No other country is behaving this way. The poor government workers are totally exhausted with all of the extra (meaningless) work.

Anyhoo, WELCOME home! I'm sure your animals are glad to have you back. Cats will pee on things because of stress when the "mother figure" goes away. My cat peed on my pajamas when we went to Jordan during Spring break.

Kappa no He said...

Gina, I like that, House Arrest. Yeah, we've been lovin' up the pets.

Mary, I bet she went through the same thing. We had to fill out those forms as well. Even people who were catching connecting flights out of the country!

Tiger, you know what's ironic is that Japan has just had an explosion of Swine Flu cases in Osaka/Kobe. It seems that a couple high school students had it, went to a big kendo tournament and then everyone there took it home with them. I mean of all the sports kendo is like the one where you're most in someone's face and screaming/spitting.

They're also calling it Shin-gata Influenza. So it went from Buta Influenza to H1N1 to the New Type Flu.

I'm happy to hear about you cat. Makes me less frustrated with mine.

Pat said...

Welcome back, Terrie! We missed you!

When Kathie and I went to Turkey back in '96, a friend of mine stayed with the girls. She made the mistake of leaving her pantyhose soaking in my bathroom sink. My cat peed on them! Ewww.

Stay well and enjoy that house arrest. You should have plenty of time for blogging about your trip!

Ello said...

Oh my gosh what a total overreaction! What a way to return home! Although our schools have said that if anyone has a fever they need to stay home for 7 days and I was kind of like wow! Well anyway, glad you are back! CAn't wait to hear about everything!

Kappa no He said...

Pat, aha! I'm beginning to see a pattern with these feline creatures. I've always known that if I made one angry I'd get something sprayed but just being gone? I'd have thought they'd be happy.

Ello, hey there! I really missed the last few weeks not being here or being able to comment on friends' posts. I'm new and improved!

Woman in a Window said...

That is some really creepiness with the swine undercover police. I guess it has to be monitored but...ya, creepy about covers it. Glad you're back safe and sound.

Kappa no He said...

Hello W in the W! You know what is creepy. Today when the guy called we weren't home; then we were home but I was trying to nap. He began to call back like every ten minutes until we answered. (Yes, I knew it was him and didn't answer just to see how persistent he could be. The answer, very!)

Hilary said...

Welcome back. That kind of tracking sounds like a nightmare to me. I'd be so tempted to mess with them.

Kappa no He said...

Oh, oh, oh! Hilary, I think I have found a way to get my revenge! Yesterday the school called and said Julyan couldn't participate in a three-day school event where they go to various jobs around the city and help out because well, he just got back from America and all. We discussed it and I think we've come up with a great plan. Next blog post!

Hilary said...

This sounds like something fun is about to happen. Looking forward to it. :)

Jim Melvin said...

I'd love to hear more about the book signing! :)

Kappa no He said...

Hilary, he he he.

Jim, I'm having trouble resizing my photos on iphoto.
I know, I'm a dork like that. I plan on getting it up this weekend. *fingers crossed*

Frank Baron said...

Looking forward to your report from NYC. And I'd LOVE one of those feathers (if any are left).

How/from whom would you prefer that I buy your book - if you have a preference?

Kappa no He said...

I'll check about the feathers. My mom held on to them. They certainly were nice bookmarks.

And thanks so much for wanting to order A Robe. I think any way of ordering would be fine (Amazon, B and N, ordering from local bookstore).

Btw, his room smells like cat pee. It's driving me insane!