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Dispatches from Japan: Day 11

The day was supposed to go according to plan.

After breakfast, I checked out of the hotel, took a cab to Naha Airport, and flew to Narita. There, I spent the remainder of my yen on food, double-fisted some Asahi, and sat at the gate for what seemed like an interminable amount of time until it was time for the equally interminable flight to Vancouver. I don't know what it is about air travel these days, but it truly stinks: I can barely breathe in the stuffy, cramped cabin, and I always get terrible headaches by the time I reach my destination after spending eight or nine hours in the air. This is why I am considering flying in business class from now on. I'll give Air ______ one thing, though: their food is not so bad, after all, and their entertainment system is half-decent (they really should improve the touchscreen interface and stop formatting films in 4:3 aspect ratio—the screens are 16:9).

I was rather depressed when I arrived in Vancouver. The airport is really rudimentary and poorly designed, and all the lip service to First Nations culture sickens me. Besides, I could not see a single thing out the window. The airport was cold and foggy. However, I was somewhat amused by the little incident with the customs agent. As always, one of these subnormal creatures tried to take me off guard by asking me random questions about what, in particular, I have seen and done in Japan. I answered every question rather snappily, but there was a brief, awkward silence in the queue when I mentioned visiting castles and the agent blurted out, half-suspiciously, half-incredulously: "There are castles in Japan?!" Touché.

After another depressing wait, I finally made the one-hour flight to _______. Surprisingly, I was able to locate my car rather quickly, and I drove home without incident (although I was a little nonplussed by the $207.90 I had to fork over for twelve days' worth of parking at the airport). Utterly exhausted, I fell into bed at about 4 PM...and then the unbelievable happened.

I woke up at around 10 PM to the sound of voices in my apartment. When I opened my bedroom door, I found three police officers idiots milling about just inside, trampling on my carpet with their wet boots. My first instinct was to ask what I'd done. It soon turned out that my father actually called the police to check up on me (as he put it)—apparently because I did not report in immediately after I landed in _______ (despite the fact that he actually knew my itinerary, and that I tried calling him when I was in Vancouver). Bloody hell. I was at a loss for words.

My brother killed himself thirteen years ago, but that has nothing to do with me. So it goes. I deserve a life without constant invasion of privacy.

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