…and I’m not going to Fuqing 😦
The French freighter company I tried to switch to ended up taking 2 days to inform my agent there are no available cabins for me. I’m a bit heartwrecked. The only thing I can hold onto now is the glimmer of hope the agent instilled in me. He said normally passengers are not allowed to disembark in Japan, and this I already knew from our earlier email exchanges. However, he secretly whispered (via email text), that if I ask politely, the Captain of my vessel may be able to let me out early in Japan. The conditions I’d need for this to occur? Weekday. Business hours. 9 to 5. Outside those times, there are no immigration officers to check me in. Freight may be loaded/unloaded overnight though. Now, there is the most REAL reason passengers are not allowed disembarking in Japan. If it was a secret, I’m sorry – it’s now out!
So ‘spontaneously’, I would have to ask to be let out before reaching Shanghai. I have a second possibility of trying to get out 2 days early in Ningbo, China, from where I can take a 2-hour train to Shanghai as I was once offered as an alternate route home in January. It would save me 2 days of useless freight travel between the two cities, but still not get me to Japan on schedule for the activities I had booked.
After a day to mourn the now defunct possibility of an earlier Oakland departure, I’m signing my life away to the original Vancouver route. It sucks and I won’t lie. I’m upset. I’m disappointed. But, I have to now shift my attention away from the negatives, and continue booking my accommodations and non-sea commutes. That’s becoming more fun the more I have confirmed. I see my plan taking shape and I’m enjoying filling up my calendar with various stops across the Asian map in my head.
To summarize where I’m at today:
I got my doctor’s note (she thinks I’m nuts, but that’s okay). I’m paying for the freight travel today. Information for visa application will be complete once my hotels in Shanghai are reserved. I’m currently booked in Osaka, Kyoto, and Vancouver. Still need to change my BC (return) hotel booking to adjust for leaving Asia 2 weeks later than planned. That will be 30$ CDN more per night, since I’ll arrive the week of Valentine’s Day (price hikes). I don’t think I can book anything in Tokyo until I arrive in Japan, which is a bummer. I’ll move my Sapporo trek to after New Year’s in the event that I’m not able to disembark in Japan on a business day. My intended visit to Korea will probably also need to be moved to January.
Needless to say, I’m bringing a whole bag of arts and crafts to keep me busy on the boat. Two weeks, I figured I’d be okay, but if I’m now looking at 3 weeks plus potential delays, I’ll need more distraction between bouts of vomiting.
Speaking of which, further research and a chat with my doctor make me wary of using the Scop patch. I think I will bring 2 packs, and try very hard not to use them. I read that on top of perhaps messing with my eye issues, that often after prolonged usage, the side effects are very very…appealing.
Who wants to take anti-nausea meds that make you nauseous and want to throw up AFTER you stop taking them? Come on, really? Pharmaceutical companies, why do you do this to us? Imagine, I make it through my 3 week sea jail sentence, remove the patch, leave the ship and start feeling sick on dry land while trying to orient myself in a foreign country? Yeah, thank you, but no thanks, Scopolamine! I’m still trying to seek consultation with my eye doctor, but at this point, I think I know my answers already. If I run out of time before boarding my Greyhound on November 2nd, I will forego the eye doctor. I couldn’t get into the low vision clinic in 2015, I already know using Scop is iffy, and I don’t think anybody will write me a note about my disability for me to use it as proof and identification while in Japan that I actually have a disability (sorry that was a terrible run-on sentence!). So why add more things to my to-do list when time is already very tight?
On that note, I’ll be back with updates after I complete all my hotel bookings, and hopefully have a less rough sketch of my Japan Plan. Until then, wish me luck and send me good vibes!! They mean a lot!