After we went through another gate, we parked the car and were immediately swarmed by medical staff, who ushered us into a nearby tent. Charlie and I were taken away from Ayako and Risa, who protested vehemently. Risa cried, reaching out for Charlie, while Ayako demanded to know what was happening. The bond between us had grown so strong and we relied on each other so much, the first reaction to our separation was fear. However, the doctors assured us we’d be reunited in just a few minutes and I told Ayako it would be alright, and squeezed her hand.
A nurse pulled a curtain between us and ordered us to strip for inspection. The doctor began his check while the nurse drew a blood sample from the both of us. They asked us a million questions. It had to have taken at least an hour. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that we weren’t allowed to put our clothes back on. Just two naked dudes standing in a room with a few giggling nurses and one very tired-looking doctor. Finally, a nurse entered with a clipboard. The doctor examined it briefly and handed it back and cleared us for entry into the camp.
Upon putting our clothes back on and stepping outside, we found Ayako and Risa waiting for us. Risa practically jumped on Charlie, her cheeks red and puffy from her crying. Ayako frantically asked us if we were okay, the most concern she’d shown us since meeting her. They escorted us to what appeared to be an office building at the port that had been re-purposed to house refugees. Cots lined the walls and filled the center in neat rows. Each cot had a blanket, a pillow, and nothing else. Spartan would be the best word to describe it. Many were empty. They told us about meal times, showed us where the
toilets were and explained that nobody was to leave the camp without permission. Were still not sure if there is running water here or not, but the toilets that we have seen are just makeshift outhouses. Unsurprisingly, the smell is horrible. Nearby was a urinal, which we were told not to use. A briefly glanced in it and saw a small crab. I’m not really sure why or how it was in there. I have noticed that there do seem to be crabs in lots of unusual places. We don’t get that so much up in Osaka.
I’m beginning to think, judging by our encounters and sightings of others, that a very significant portion of the population in our region has either been infected, killed or in deep hiding – regardless of what the SDF and the government are claiming. There should be around a million people in Wakayama, which is the least populated prefecture in the Kansai area. Still though, after traveling from one end to the other I can say that the almost complete lack of any evidence of those one million people is frightening.