Japan? Yes please.

So, I managed to take my first ever vacation on my own.

Photo of the Air Asia gate to Kuala Lumpur in Phuket Airport
Air Asia gate to Kuala Lumpur

I’ve travelled the world as a kid thanks to my parents, but I was sitting inside of a 1m2 hollow ‘tube’ in a capsule hotel when it hit me: ‘This is the first time i’ve travelled as an adult NOT for a US college education, not to meet anyone or to attend a wedding, but simply to explore”.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I had ended up in Japan. What a great start.

I only ever dreamt of visiting the country I had been overly obsessed with for decades for no apparent reason. All I knew, is I will one day have the ultimate waqyu Teppanyaki experience sitting in Japan. And oh what an experience that was! But more on that later.

At the end of the working year, I realized I have only a few vacation days left, and worked out 9 days in Japan by adding a couple of weekends and Thai public holidays. After getting that ‘leave’ approved, I still wasn’t convinced i’ll be going. Reason being that my wonderful passport requires me to get a visa for almost every country on planet earth…and i’ve heard of some major rejections happening. I did, however, take a chance and sent in the application via the Phuket Post Office. After a few days, the embassy called to check me out i guess, and a couple of days later they sent the passport back.

I decided to leave it unopened for a few hours.

It’s amazing how world politics could mess with your head in the midst of a simple vacation plan.

I was afraid.

Eventually, as I slowly ripped open the thick envelope, I felt angry. The thoughts of the actions of a few idiots (we all know what I’m talking about) affecting people (like me) all over the world began racing around my head. I started questioning how hard i’ve worked to achieve anything in my life. Was it even worth it? How does it feel to get so far, and yet get rejected by a country you can’t stop thinking about?

Before i tore the thin strip from one edge of the envelope to the other, I had basically convinced myself i wasn’t going to go, and will drive across Thailand instead.

Duty Free Phuket Airport
Watches watches watches!

I hesitated some more, but emptied the contents onto my table. First thing I saw, was a cheque. “My money had been returned, I thought to myself”. I quickly opened the passport and there it was, a shiny and beautiful – my visa for Japan! Checked the dates and everything!

The cheque, however, didn’t make any sense.

[To be Continued…Landing in Kuala Lumpur]

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