September 20, 2021

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Tokyo Postcard | I will send you a piece of paper

(Tokyo) Colleagues’ accounts stated a six or nine hour wait at the airport.


Anyway, I am sorry to inform you that our visit is wonderful and, everywhere, that elegant honor that Japan is proud of. I will send you a part of it.

I will send you 17 because the passenger has to present himself as soon as he arrives at Haneda International Airport with a real file.

First there are two certificates – paper – proving negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours of departure. They have five pages written in Japanese with the determination to strictly adhere to the rules of isolation and all health rules.

“After 14 days, visiting an institution that does not respect the rules will pose a serious threat to your reputation, your organization, and the Tokyo 2020 Games,” according to the translation.

It is expressed in a few words as one of the foundations of Japanese culture. In the United States, you are not threatened with arrest, prosecution or imprisonment. Worse: Your organization’s reputation is in jeopardy!

“We don’t need police officers, every Japanese has his or her own internal police officer,” a Quebecker who has lived in Japan for 20 years told me on Tuesday.

We have customs and immigration documents and various regular notices. In addition to geolocation, all applications, including our tests and daily temperature readings, must be downloaded to our phone. But you will be given a yellow paper proving that you have the application.

I calculated at least 10 control levels to show one or the other document.

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So we can expect extraordinary delays. Oh. Another great Japanese specialty: staff surplus. That lady is the only one to welcome you to Tokyo. There is a young man with gloves pointing up the escalator as if you were in the middle of the woods. However, there is no other option. There are those who care about others and they are right in their profession.

Of course, smile, big thank you, welcome, thank you very much, thank you very much, arigato gozaimasu. We have vague dizziness, we think it’s insomnia, it’s respectable. We are not used to it.

Remember that all passengers on the same Atlantic flight must spit in a test tube using a miniature funnel and be careful to fill it to 2 ml. If you are not a baseball player, you need to pick it up a few times. Photos of the lemon are shown at the polling station, which is believed to provoke saliva. Strangely, it reminded me of a statement about sperm.

Once all the samples were delivered, what did it take? A half hour? Three-quarters of an hour? We all got our results. It was enough to provide walking and paper for all kinds of people, some of whom wore hats, all of whom were immortal talents.

And hop, we were out.

However this is no small task. Planes like ours come from all over the world with the same restrictions at all corners of the airport.

They don’t like games anymore, but if they are to take place, they have to be well organized.

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