Dave had a meetup with the mobile team at Automattic in TOKYO two weeks ago. (The mobile team designs the WordPress apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android so on the next update you’ll see Dave’s work. How cool is that!?!) We had always been planning on saving to go to Japan. This has been Dave’s dream trip. It’s the home of Nintendo, Pokemon, anime, sushi, and SO much more that Dave loves! This was a dream come true to be able to go. Half our trip was paid for with Dave’s flight and our hotel at the Hyatt Regency in Tokyo. We planned to stay a few extra days after the meetup and planned on going to Kyoto. We spent weeks researching and planning. I knew I’d be by myself most of the time while Dave was working with his team. I want to write a separate post on things I planned on doing because if you read the rest of this, you are going to book a flight to go.
Everything was pretty perfect until Saturday night before our trip began. Dave starts to feel bad the Saturday night before our flight on Sunday morning. I thought “Oh, he’ll get over a quick cold.” NOPE. The 14 hour plane ride from Atlanta to Tokyo agitated his sinuses and filled his ears with fluid. Landing in Tokyo, his ears wouldn’t pop. He went through excruciating pain and it is a miracle it didn’t damage his ears permanently from the pressure. We arrive at our hotel on Monday at midnight. The next morning I have a cold and Dave feels terrible. Thankfully I brought 14 decongestant pills, but it was nowhere near enough for what we needed. He had to go to a Japanese doctor on Wednesday because he wasn’t improving. That was the first time he left the hotel since arriving. The doctor gave him SIX different kinds of medicine including morphine for the plane ride home in case his ears didn’t improve. But he didn’t prescribe a decongestant because it’s not available in Japan. Pseudoephedrine is illegal in the country because it’s used in cooking meth. It was discouraging, because that is exactly what you need for an ear infection. I bought some OTC medicine for me which I don’t think helped much. I definitely didn’t think I’d be crying constantly while I was there.
Being cooped up in a hotel on a trip that we were so excited about, brought on some life lessons and forced a reality check on me. I was SO thankful I had come with Dave to take care of him. This would have been much worse for both of us had I not been there. The Hyatt Regency was the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed because of the service. The employees there went above and beyond taking care of every one of their guests. I am eternally grateful for their kindness to us. There was a restaurant in the lobby where we could thankfully eat breakfast and lunch, avoiding the cold weather. We both realized that our trip didn’t matter but that we had each other. And isn’t that what matters most? Life is not in things! Peace can’t be found in seeing really cool sites and eating amazing food. There is more to life than stuff. That’s what I learned in the major metropolis of Tokyo.
BUT then Dave started feeling better miraculously on Monday morning! That Japanese medicine kicked in and I was feeling much better too. We had a day and a half in Tokyo before we had to leave for Narita. Those days were so much sweeter for us because of how sick we’ve felt and how discouraged we both were.
Monday was one of the best days of my life and it was our six month anniversary. In just one day, we went to the Meiji Shrine, walked around Harajuku and Shinjuku where I found an amazing fabric store filled with Japanese fabrics! We also went to a cat cafe where hung out with 50+ amazing cats for an hour.
I posted some photos on flickr of our few days we were able to get out. Dave and I are planning to go back. It’s going to take a little while to save for that trip but we must make it happen.