Return to Japan: Day 10

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My final day in Japan was a long one, and the jetlag I’ve had since coming home has made me too tired to write up a proper blog post. You’ll see why as you read.

Anyway, my flight out of Kansai International Airport was at 7 am, so it was another early start for me. I was anxious about sleeping in, so I actually ended up waking up before my alarm, around 4 am, and was ready and checked out of my hotel just after 5 am. I took the shuttle bus to the airport and left Osaka for Tokyo at the scheduled time, arriving in Tokyo via Haneda Airport a little after 8 am.

 

Early morning flight! early enough to catch the sunrise!

 
My layover in Tokyo was a long one – almost 11 hours – so I put my carry-on bag in a coin locker and took the monorail into the city. With only a limited amount of time, I had to be choosy as to where to go in Tokyo. It’s a massive city with lots to see, so it was not an easy choice. I eventually settled on Harajuku, which is the centre of quirky youth fashion. When I last visited Japan, I had been to Harajuku with my sister and brother-in-law but it was so insanely crowded that we didn’t really stop to look at anything, so I kind of wanted to go back.

 On my way there, I was a bit hungry so I stopped by a Starbucks for a hot drink and a scone. It was actually a good thing  I did because it turned out that a lot of stores did not open til 11 am, and it was still only 9:30 am or so.

Anyway, after my Starbucks break, I left for Harajuku. Since it was still not 11 o’clock, a lot of stores were still closed but a few were open, so I did check out a few places. I also tried a crepe, which Harajuku is known for; it was good, but nothing to write home about.

After Harajuku, I still had a few hours to play around with. I settled on Akihabara to satiate my geeky side and promptly hopped on train to take me there. Again, I mostly wandered around, grabbing a grilled beef skewer to snack on on the way. I was tempted to buy some merchandise from either Haikyuu or Shirobako, both anime series that I’ve enjoyed, but decided not to since I am actually trying to de-clutter my apartment, not add more stuff to it. Instead, I played a couple of those machines where you insert some coins, turn a knotb, and a little capsule with something inside rolls out. The first was a Soul Gem from the series Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the second was a tiny figurine of Gintoki, the main character of the comedy series, Gintama. I attached both to my bag to join my Totoro charm.

 

Top-left: quirky fashion store in Harajuku. Bottom-left: the (fake) crepe display in Harajuku. Right: a busy intersection in Akihabara. Anime heaven!

 
I had a quick lunch at a cafe near Akihabara Station (a rather disappointing BLT sandwich) and then decided to head back to the airport as it was already about 3 pm.

Since I had come from another flight and had my boarding pass, I didn’t have to check in again, luckily. I just had to pick up my bag from the coin locker, take a shuttle bus to the international terminal, and wait at the correct gate. Unfortunately, the plane was late arriving so my flight was delayed, though only by about a half hour or so. No biggie. I wasn’t in a big rush or anything, and I was pretty tired by this point and just didn’t care.

The first few hours of the flight were uneventful and I eventually settled to sleep in my seat. Then, about 5 hours into the flight, I was awoken by an announcement requesting a doctor, if on board, to meet the crew at the back of the plane to assist with a medical situation. At first, I thought I was dreaming, but when they repeated the message in French, I knew it was real. I hesitated at first since I’m a nurse, not a doctor, but I knew I should respond anyway in case no one else did or said doctor was a chiropractor or something.

So, reluctantly, I pulled my boots on and went to check things out. Turns out, there was an ER doctor already handling the situation. The crew asked where I was sitting and said they’d find me if they needed me. Feeling relieved, I returned to my seat, but I was too anxious to go back to sleep in case they really did need me. About 20 or 30 minutes later, one of the flight attendants came for me. Turns out a passenger was having chest pain and already had a cardiac history, and the doctor wanted an IV placed in him.

I tried my best but due to a number of factors (I.e. Plane turbulence, my fatigue, lack of supplies, cramped space, poor lighting, etc.) I could not get the IV in. I’m really not that great at IVs to begin with, anyway!

In any case, we almost diverted the plane to Anchorage, Alaska, but after a few more minutes, the passenger started to feel better and the pain went away. The doctor then decided that it would be ok to continue on to Toronto and monitor him on the plane, then have paramedics take him to hospital once we landed (which is exactly what happened). After the flight, I received a nice handwritten letter from the passenger, which was really nice :)

After landing, it was smooth sailing hime, and due to my very, very long day and jet lag, I slept a full 12 hours that night!

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