There has been an outbreak of swine flu right here in Kobe, and the patients are being treated at Kobe General Hospital – which is only a few hundred yards from my home! Typically, Japan has gone into full panic mode. Most schools in Kobe (including my and the Sonbeam’s workplaces) are closed for the next week, and we the general public are being exhorted to avoid going out as much as possible, and to wear face masks whenever we do. Most of my work and social engagements have been canceled for the time being. For the next week or so, I have nothing to do but sit around and twiddle my thumbs at home.
Therefore I am seizing this rare opportunity to take a break and attend a rose festival in the south of Japan. I’ve just finished booking my flights and hotel rooms. I’m really excited about going … but on the downside, I’ll be embarrassed to answer the question “where are you from?”
Because right now, Kobe is the Mexico of Japan, and no-one wants us around.
I hope I’m not a “Typhoid Miko.”