I couldn’t believe that my paperwork was wrong. It was 9pm and there was literally nothing I could do.
We had had so many challenges up until now. I knew from experience and from posts that what the officials cared about was the MOFA form as compared to the test results. So, the only thing I could do was to just keep my actual results in my folder and present only the MOFA form and just pray they didn’t want to double-check everything.
And that’s what I did– prayed.
“Lord, seriously. Seriously. We’ve had every problem in the book. I need your help with this one.”
You ever think God just laughs at you?
Well, so we loaded up our re-stocked luggage, made sure we had all our documents, woke up the baby that had just started getting adjusted to the time zone and headed for the airport.
We managed to get our tickets, get everything checked, show that we had the necessary paperwork for entry and were even granted a reprieve– since I was travelling along, they allowed my mom to assist me up until the gate.
That was really nice– having an extra set of hands to do all the things you have to do– take out laptops, liquids, take off shoes, take the baby out of the carrier and get rid of jackets… and load it all up without losing your documentation or wallet or something important like that.
It was a blessing to have my mom come back.
We were quiet though as we waited for boarding to begin.
I’m never good at these moments. I’ve tried to get better… throw in some humor to lessen the levity of the moment. But today, my back-up skills were non-existent and so we just stood there quietly.
Finally, boarding came and I made my way upfront to take advantage of family boarding. We hugged and my mom asked me to pass along hugs to my other kids waiting for my arrival.
A rather uneventful flight ensued, and I was hopeful for a continued smooth journey.
We arrived in Dallas for our next flight, grabbed some goodies and snacks, confirmed our paperwork yet again with the flight agents, and waited.
“Boarding will begin in about 20 minutes.”
We waited the 20 minutes. And then more, wondering what was going on.
There was a mechanical problem with this flight and so they needed a new plane and new gate.
So, we walked more and more around the terminal, my daughter on her lead, me following behind.
When they called us, we got in line for boarding at our new gate… but there was some sort of commotion with the attendants and staff. My baby was not having this “waiting game” and laid on the floor throwing a tantrum. I let her. Hey, I was asking the impossible of this toddler… and I felt like doing it myself!! I was super annoyed at the wait, since they had told us to get in line to get on the plane without them being ready for us.
Well… I was in for more.
Another mechanical problem they needed to fix before boarding.
No boarding. More waiting. We walked around, staying in earshot, waiting to see what the deal was.
Because Japan had very strict rules about connecting flights and with the state of world travel the way it was, more than half the people on our flight (and there weren’t many of us) would have to be re-booked due to the continued delays.
We stayed for 6 hours of delays and changes before they gave us meal vouchers and eventually told us they were re-booking us all on a new flight the next day.
A little more of a wait, and we’d have hotel vouchers.
At least I didn’t have to pay this time.
Meanwhile, I messaged our taxi service (did I mention that I had found out while in the States that Japan no longer allowed friends to pick you up from the airport but that you had to pay for a taxi service? Actually, not a taxi, because that’s “public transportation”. But yes, we needed to pre-schedule a professional driver to pick us up and drive us the 2-3 hours back to our apartment.
I contacted them to let them know of my flight change and that I’d need a new driver the next day… and made my way to the front desk to ask them what this flight change meant for our PCR tests which were now outside of their 72 hour window of validity.