Today I took a day off to give Ritsuko a ride to Narita Airport. She is leaving Japan for Tunis, Tunisia for work alone...no, with her cat Miko.
I picked her up at her place at 14:20 and arrived at the airport at 16:45. Did it take 2 hours? Yap, but not because of an enormous traffic jam in Tokyo, but we took 30 min. break at the Shisui Service Area, which is about 10 km to the airport, for the poor kitty who had been under lots of stress in my car. No wonder she is not really used to driving.
Leaves at the service area turned into red. Fall has come already and I was glad to share the beautiful moment with Ritsuko (and Miko kitty).
Though the flight to Paris departs at 21:55, we had to be at the airport by 17:00 for Miko. As soon as I dropped Ritsuko at the departure floor, she went to the animal quarantine office with her cat. I caught up with them after finding a parking lot at the airport.
Ritsuko moved so busily at the airport from the quarantine office to luggage service counter to pick up Miko's traveling cage (quite big!) which had been sent a day before. Ritsuko stopped by bank counters to exchange money from yen to dollar and to transfer fees to an international cargo service company...
Finally, we went to a restaurant to have dinner, Ritsuko's last supper of the year in Japan. Though she said she felt like TENDON (Tempura over rice), but soon Ritsuko changed her mind when she found a Chinese restaurant. We had hot-spicy noodle with Mabo-rice and Gyoza pot stickers.
After the meal we had a cup of coffee and talked for a while. I really miss her because we spent almost every weekend together for Salsa lessens, movies and to enjoy gourmet dinner!
About 2 hours before the departure, Ritsuko moved to the check-in counter to check her luggage and her cat. We then went to the departure gate to say good-bye.
Ritsuko was about to cry... and I was, too. Being left in an empty airport -- because Ritsuko's flight was the last one of the day -- I really wish her health and good-luck to the new position in Tunisia.
See you Ritsuko in Tunis, maybe sometime next year before summer!