We spent an amazing time in Thailand starting in Bangkok and finishing up in Krabbi. All the time we were there, I kept looking for tickets for the England vs Australia. Bingo, I finally got a basket with two tickets. All we needed to do was find flights back to Oita!
Kirsty didn’t appreciate the panic buying under time pressure of the RWC2019 site where the clock was ticking. It got hugely expensive very quickly and we ended up agreeing to stay in Thailand and maybe think about the final if that was ever to happen.
We watched Scotland play Japan in a bar in the Japanese quarter in Bangkok with our long lost friend Maria, thanks again to Facebook for making that happen. That was another incredible night of emotion and passion. Typhoon Hagibis was a bad as predicted and at the time of writing this blog over 80 people had lost their lives. The Japanese beat the Scots to win their group and dedicated their win to the victims of Hagibis.
We ended up watching the England vs Australia quarter final at Bagkok airport. What a game and what a performance by England. We also watched the All Blacks sweep aside the Irish to set up a semi final against England. Surely England would be up against all the odds in the semi final?
Well the rest is history. We watched the semi final before we went racing at Cheltenham last Saturday. Kirsty has gone with our friend Mary to see some horses and by the time she got back to our friend Mick’s house, I had booked flights to Tokyo and was on the case to get final tickets. Our friends Mick, Jack, Sinead, Drew, Beth, Alex, Rosie and Ruth all enjoyed the game and it was fantastic when Ruth persuaded her parents James and Angela who we had met up with for the Argentina to stay for the final.
And here we are now. At Heathrow ready to fly back to visit our old friend Japan. So many idiosyncratic and contradictory ways and yet my favourite country on the planet bar none. A country with the best people who make me laugh and cry with their humility and politeness. A country of order and yet one where cycling on pavements without any protocols seems to be mandatory. A country where you hear crazy cover versions of computerized Beatles songs in shops everywhere you go. A country where smoking is allowed in bars and restaurants but never in the street. A country where vending machines are ubiquitous but there are no litter bins because the Japanese take their little home with them. A country where you hear synthesized bird song on escalators, in lifts and at traffic lights. And above all a country that has once again made sports fans so welcome it makes grown men cry. Japan we have missed you and we can’t wait to see you again.