When I wrote my entry the other day I was on the wine as I needed to relax after such an eventful day. I thought that things would start to get back to normal in part the following day which shows how ill informed I was. I went bed just after 2am and no doubt slept through many after-shocks that night before my boss woke me up by phone at 06;19 telling me that my company was gonna be closed all weekend. Since then I have been pretty much glued to the rolling news coverage of the event on CNN and NHK. Given that mobile reception was non-existant on Friday the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have been a godsend in getting messages to people and to discuss what’s going on which leaves one not feeling so isolated from it all. Its good to talk and that is exactly what a few of us did on Saturday night in an almost empty bar in an area which had become a ghost-town. I even managed to get a seat going home which never happens!
Apart from the after-shocks, which keep on coming even as I write this, I am not directly affected by anything now but there is the knock-on affect. Like Homer Simpson (who is an inept nuclear power factory worker for those wondering what that reference is all about), I still don’t really know anything nuclear power so I won’t go on about that. I’ll leave that in the capable hands of the TV networks.
Blackouts from the electricity companies, who get their power from up north, has been the hot topic of confusion in the greater Tokyo area over the last 24 hours or so. They announced that certain zones would have no electricty for a few hours at select times of the day. I can’t say that I was in too much of a panic at the thought of no electricity for a bit. Having said that I thought I’d better get my phone, PSP and iPod charged but as I was doing that I discovered that as I live in Tokyo I wouldn’t be affected as its the area’s of greater Tokyo which would suffer blackouts. Anywhere there was much confusion as to what city was in what zone and so on and I think in the end there was no need for them. That may be because certain convenience stores, restaurants and supermarkets were operating today using reduced-electricity. Personally, I would have just switched off all the neon lights in the likes of Shinjuku, Ginza and Shibuya. As I’ve mentioned on Twitter the anime porn shop next to my regular supermarket was fully lit with its flashing signs outside.
There has been growing anxiety amongst the Japanese which has led to lots of panic buying. All shops I’ve been in over the last few days have been completely devoid of bread and water but that doesn’t really bother me as I drink tap water and have been on a bread-free diet for a few months now. I just hope that people are limited by the shops as to what they can buy as some are just getting greedy and buying far, far more than they need. I took a break from the news earlier to go for a run and during that I saw at first hand the long lines of cars waiting to get petrol. One of the stations I also regularly use was completely closed.
I cannot stress enough how fortunate I am amid this crisis so far. Sure, I experienced the big quake (and its hundred and hundreds of after-shocks) and suffered a bit of damage to my wall but overall I feel pretty helpless and, like the engrossed viewers around the world, I am just watching the coverage from afar. Thanks once again for all your concern but it really is being wasted on me. It doesn’t get any easier seeing all these video’s of the tsunami and as time goes by more and more shocking videos are emerging. It really is
horrific stuff and my heart goes out to those affected by it. However, the Japanese have emerged from terrible disasters time and time again and I have no doubt they will eventually be able to move on and rise again.