It’s been an interesting couple of days after our experience in a life-size cocktail shaker. But please no worries on our behalf! We are well! Jose has been working, and I have been sorting myself and cleaning. I was avoiding going out because train schedules are still a little off, but today I met with a student and ventured out to Yokohama Station.
The hustle and bustle of everyday life has been subdued somewhat – grocery store shelves are a little bare and lights are half-off in department stores. Train stations are bigger and more spacious and there is more space to move about, but the lack of shoulder-to-shoulder crowd makes Yokohama seem empty.
I have been watching all the social media outlets and messages for Americans and various media outlets, but only in small doses. Facebook is a constant stream of updates about power outages and friends wondering about evacuations. News is recycled pictures of the power plant and reporters that know little to nothing about nuclear engineering yapping away. I don’t need to keep imagining further disaster to Japan, so I advise not saturating your brain with too much news. A little goes a long way.
It’s so interesting to see how fast panic can spread and how quickly science is overcome by fear. I went to the grocery store to pick up a few non-perishables for us to snack upon in the case our power went out, and when I saw people buying up cases and cases of water, I felt the need to take my six cans of soup and add about 90 more. I almost bought a case of bottled water (which you know I hate) as if the world were ending and canned soup and bottled water were necessary to prolong my life. But in reality, crisis mode here in Yokohama is quite orderly. There is no shortage of food and water. They have rolling blackouts, where neighborhoods take turns at giving up power for a few hours at a time to save energy. Small shops have remained closed, large shops have shortened hours, and the train schedule has been abbreviated to converse electricity. We are over 150 miles away from Fukushima Dai-Ichi, and I’ve been told I won’t turn into Blinky the fish if I breathe the Japanese spring air. Everybody is nervous, but nobody has run screaming through the streets. Nuclear scare and all, Japan is collected and people are calm.
There is too much news and horrifying pictures and fear flying about, but at a time like this I prefer to go shopping. Because we can all imagine what it is we’d want most if our homes were swept away, and it wouldn’t be diamonds or pearls or big screen television, but we’d sure love to have a warm blanket and the help and prayers from people from all around the world.
If you’d like to help, I welcome it! I have some funds to get supplies, but every little bit helps! Most of all, thanks for your prayers and well-wishes for our family – we are gratefully safe, and know that no matter where you are, our prayers are with you. Thank you for thinking of us.
Update (April 5, 2011) – I am no longer accepting donations, but thank you for your generosity! We collected almost a $1000 for the relief effort. You can read about where the money went here. If you’d still like to contribute to victims in Japan, please consider giving to the Japanese Red Cross here.