Monday, May 11, 2009
PASSING INSPECTION ... EN ROUTE TO TAIPEI
All hell broke loose aboard United Flight #891 to Tokyo today when a team of officials from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare boarded the flight for a "Routine Quarantine Inspection." I knew something was up when the Flight Attendant handed me a "Questionnaire of Health Status" which, she said, I would need to fill out and provide to government officials when we landed. Questions included: (1) Do You Suffer from Mucus or Rhinostenosis? and (2) Are you taking any Antiphlogistics or Antifebriles? I answered "no" to everything and got my camera into position. Sure enough, minutes after we arrived at the gate, a team of officials wearing what looked like Bright, Blue Hazmat suits boarded the plane, videotaped each passenger and inspected everyone carefully. I'm pleased to say that I passed inspection with flying colors ... and was awarded a surgical mask for my troubles. That's more than I can say for the swine in seat #7D who kept knocking into my armrest. He passed inspection but, if you ask me, he looks like he's seen better days.