JB Press (Japan): a long way from the Siberian hinterland covered by coronavirus in Japan

I’ve just returned from the Siberian hinterland, where the raging pandemic of mers in Tokyo. It took me 3 days.

At the end of June had expired, my teaching contract in the Siberian Federal University (SFU), and I had to return home to Japan. In September, I start teaching at the Institute of foreign languages, Moscow city pedagogical University (MGPU), but for now I need to go on business in Tokyo.

The Japanese Embassy in Moscow notified me by email that on 21 June the flight Moscow — London, carried out according to a time schedule. I decided to use them to from London to get to Tokyo, because the situation with the resumption of regular flights Russia — Japan are still unclear.

June 21, I departed from me became native Siberia to Moscow. Tickets bought from the airlines. Tickets Krasnoyarsk — Moscow — London cost me about 920 dollars. OK! The journey from London to Tokyo with ANA airlines was worth about $ 2,000. Not cheap!

21 Jun

Flight Krasnoyarsk — Moscow. Departure at 11:10 local time, arrival in Moscow at 12:05. The difference in time between the two cities is 4 hours.

I was immediately struck by the fact that almost all the passengers were in medical masks and gloves, as the crew. Actually, for Russians, it is not very usual, but then all the rules were followed. In-flight handing out masks advanced. Before boarding the plane all hands treated with disinfecting fluid. Order!

The plane was filled almost entirely, so it was a bit crowded. The food was good. While eating all masks removed. The flight attendants delivered drinks and took orders from people who were, of course, no masks. Was worried about the girls. The fact that Russia has accepted that the flight attendants politely talking with passengers, tending to him. And then the passengers during the meal without masks!

To Moscow arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule. For me it was a joy! For a transplant to London, I had a full 2 hours. Quickly got the Luggage. The service at the height! Now I need to get from terminal b to terminal F. I was worried for it, and as guessed. Because of the coronavirus mini-train between terminals not working. To think was once, and I rushed to a taxi. In 5 minutes, and 1200 rubles I got to the international terminal.

At the entrance fell mood — turn was such that the automatic doors almost closed. But suddenly it moved pretty quickly. From checking Luggage at the entrance to the reception is very close. Good idea! People stand at the check in masks, keeping social distance. Well! I also stood in line.

A little later, around the turn began to run, a young airport employee and a loud voice to ask: “Who is on the flight to London?” I decided to respond, and I was quickly sent to the appropriate counter. Her businesslike young man quickly issued my Luggage and gave me a boarding pass. I haven’t had time to think about how everything develops successfully, as I was invited in for a landing. However, changed the output.

2 hours after arrival in Moscow I was sitting in the plane to London. At 7 o’clock in the evening landed safely in the British capital.

Heathrow Airport

I was amazed that in such a difficult situation with the pandemic coronavirus in the UK, exit to the city from Heathrow airport was free. You only need the presence of a very formally issued permission for 48 hours with the official stamp of the immigration authorities. In the absence of such permission, a fine of 100 pounds.

Permission form I filled out on the plane. On arrival marched to the exit, where both sides were harsh employees of the airport. I passed without any problems. Here and passport control. I got up to the window, on which was depicted the flags of the 10 most developed countries, including Japan. How cool! Before I rejoice as found among them the flag of South Korea. That’s it! Here I was made to feel that this country is really beginning to overtake Japan in the production of electronic equipment, IT products and even cosmetics!

Apparently, due to coronavirus, this time immigration authorities the fingerprints have not been taken. Satisfied only by the note in the permit and passport.

In five minutes I got a taxi to Ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport. From the driver I was separated by a glass partition.

At the reception also had the transparent partition. Here I was in announced by the UK government and written into my permission to stay in the mode of self-isolation. No exits to the city. Next snaked a queue of people wishing to dine at the only cafe. I spat on it and went to his room.

Breakfast went down to the cafeteria in the morning. For each guest there was a separate plate served. He took her, and went back to the room.

For lunch ordered a kebab from Uber Eats. Received the order in the lobby. He spoke with his former student (previously worked as a Japanese language teacher in England) on Skype. She told me: “Hold on!” Yeah, in sullen and unfriendly London was left to hold onto.

A taxi arrived at the airport “Heathrow”. All catering establishments at the airport are closed. 16:00 registration began. All staff in masks. Behave peacefully and even share jokes. But I remembered that in this same airport during the inspection of personal belongings of one of my friend stole a decent amount of money, and joke I somehow got sick. I carefully watched the movement of their belongings placed in a special box on the tape scanner.

This is the last step of the way

Flight Japanese airline ANA flies from London to Tokyo at 19:00. The formalities are complete. Why, as a normal traveler who does not walk in the “deutekom” empty airport? There it was. All the shops are closed. Open only LEON. In pharmacy BOOTS sale only sunblock, aspirin and electric toothbrushes.

Shop LEON wanted to buy the Cologne. Asked permission to try the smell, but she very firmly refused. Wow! How can you buy a Cologne without trial? Strange airport. Alternatively bought a watch Olivia Burton, which long kept an eye on. And you can imagine — with a 30% discount! Almost twice cheaper than in Japan!

In the plane ANA

In Tokyo, flew the aircraft UP. A regular flight. Half-empty. It was possible to get to sleep on a row of 3 seats. The impression is that the number of passengers was equal to the number of crew members.

The food is fine. Dinner took roast beef (goodbye England) for Breakfast mackerel in teriyaki sauce (Hello Japan)!

The plane handed over the application to take the test for coronavirus in the Haneda airport. 5-6 sheets! In what way, avoiding public transport get to your destination? His address? Who you met? If you live in the hotel, its address and reservation (can be electronic). By the way, the hotel of your choice, and not the indicated authorities. Those who follow at home, can not wait for the test results. If positive, you will be notified by phone the next day, when negative email in 2-3 days.

Aircraft ANA Japan. You can enjoy the home. Watched two films. Then went to sleep. Woke up to Breakfast 30 minutes before landing. So particularly enjoy did not happen.

One of the films was of Russian manufacture and was called “Winter”. I felt it as a “goodbye” from Russia. And since I love Russia, and I watched it with pleasure. A film about Russian mafia and how the hero finds himself in the ice trap. Not a masterpiece, but interesting. The second film with Rie Mazevoj starring “Love, burning like hot water.” It’s a masterpiece.

In Haneda airport, landed at 14:00. On the when announced that we arrived a little ahead of schedule, so we’ll have to wait until a test for coronavirus will be passengers of the previous flight. Then said that will have to wait 30 minutes.

At 14:30 got off the plane and fell into the hands of the quarantine service. Each passenger was invited to a separate table.

Didn’t think the test for the coronavirus that causes this unpleasant procedure. First a long stick you pick your nose, then after a while separately in the right nostril. Then give a small container and asked to squeeze out in it about 2 ml of saliva. In any case, before you put a picture of a pickled plum or lemon. Have to endure. After all this is done in order to free you from suspicion in the presence of the coronavirus.

If you have a meeting you person or family members, then you go with them, without waiting for the results of the analysis. If not — you send in a dedicated fenced part of the waiting room where they wait for the results. This is the most painful.

There I had to wait for relatives to 21:00, when they could come to the airport after work.

No movies in the waiting room there, and sitting for long in uncomfortable seats difficult. To lie down anywhere. At the same time on the loudspeaker to announce that for the avoidance of inconvenience, waiting for results can stay for 2 nights in designated authorities hotels. But I chose a bench waiting at the airport.

Around 19:00 announced their first results. My test was negative. Thank God! But I was warned that the 100% assurance of the absence of coronavirus is not and encouraged to return home to be in isolation for two weeks. Eight o’clock in the evening. Leaving the airport building. It is better to wait on the air on the bench.

At the exit of the airport police outfit looked carefully at the crowded lonely there “returnees” with large suitcases. Them the way home is closed.

At 22:00 I’m home. Wow, the journey from afar!

Saaya Taguchi — linguist, a graduate of the prestigious University of “Aoyama Gakuin” and graduate studies, School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS) University of London. In 2012 – 2015 taught the Japanese language in Perm state University, in 2019 — 2020 in the Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk). From September 2020, the proceeds to the responsibilities of the senior teacher of Japanese language in Institute of foreign languages, Moscow city pedagogical University.