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Japan, My Foot – Installment 8

Previously, on “Japan, My Foot.” Now that we’ve covered  that:

Pretty! Couldn't climb./Inner-ed. red-pencils/haiku.

As it turned out, I panicked needlessly. The Uniform who pushed my wheelchair used a freight elevator that left both Cliff and me outside the ticket gate.

I might have noticed that I was outside the ticket gate when I discovered Cliff’s rail pass, but I was too busy being hysterical. Cliff, on the other hand, calmly proceeded from coin locker to TIC, as planned. When I didn’t show, he set out to find me.

We successfully used the wheelchair system to return to Tokyo, then to leave the country. Heading to Narita Airport from Ueno, one of Tokyo’s mammoth train stations, the Ueno Uniform rolled me right up to the main escalator and chained it off behind us, forcing many harried commuters to take the steps. He stopped the escalator at a stair that opened up into a platform and loaded me onto it, all the while providing a constant stream of exquisitely polite narration:

“I am now troubling you greatly by making you wait for the escalator.”

Where is Waldo?

“I am now locking down your honorable wheelchair.”

I traveled from Ueno to Narita, flew to Bangkok, changed planes, flew to northern Thailand, and checked into our hotel in Chiang Mai, taking no more than forty paces. My pregnant dromedary trotted gamely alongside the whole way. Two weeks later, we landed in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Cambodia? This chick is going to Cambodia? At the very least, she’s bound to stumble into some renegade Khmer Rouge. I’m not counting on her survival, but we’ll find out soon enough.

By Alle C Hall, writer!

Alle C. Hall’s flash fiction placed as a finalist for The 2020 Lascaux Prize. Longer work appears most recently in Dale Peck’s Evergreen Review; as well as in Tupelo Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Brevity (blog), and Another Chicago Magazine. Formerly an associate editor at Vestal Review, Alle's additional “wins” include: Best Small Fictions Nominee, Best of the Net nominee; First Place in The Richard Hugo House New Works Competition; and finalist or semi-finalist in the contests of: Boulevard Magazine, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Hippocampus, and Memoir Magazine.

Claim to fame: interviewed Leonard Nimoy. He was a bit of a pill; disappointing.

• Twitter: @allechall1
• Facebook: Alle C. Hall
• Alle blogs at About Childhood: Answers for Writers, Parents, and Former Children. (allehall.wordpress.com)

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