Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In the past week and a half, it seems people have been glued to the news watching the disaster in Japan. It's been strange to watch it, because I'm 'here', but I'm not. I'm about as far away as I can be from the destruction (expect for Okinawa). Life here has barely been affected. The kids are raising some money to be sent up north, and there's been some news coverage of towns that look a lot like mine, but I can't tell anything catastrophic happened without watching TV.
One thing that is hard is to judge how bad the situation is. I'm fairly certain that the danger is downplayed by the Japanese Government and Japanese TV programs. I'm just as certain that foreign coverage is equally sensationalized. The French Embassy has told their nationals in Tokyo to leave, while the US only says you should consider it.
Of course I'm not in Tokyo. To usage any left over fears, I'm located in Kumamoto Prefecture. It's about 577 miles or 928.39 Kilometers from Tokyo to Kumamoto. The distance from Minneapolis to Chicago is 354 miles (in a straight line). That's pretty decent. Not to mention that Tokyo is on the East coast and Kumamoto is on the West coast. There are also mountains in the middle, so the wind shouldn't blow over here too much. Hopefully.
Finally, the really reason everyone should, is that much like the parakeet keeping miners safe, my fish are not worried at all. I found them peacefully sleeping side by side last night. Therefore, I don't think I'll stand in line at the airport just yet.
It's shaping up to be a beautiful spring. I was exceedingly disappointed this last weekend. We had Monday off as well for a national holiday, and it rained all three days. =(
Honestly, there's got to be a rule that at least one of the days is partly sunny for any three day weekend.
Although I've been busy the last few weeks, that will change shortly with the coming of spring break. I wasn't planning on traveling much for spring break this year. Last year I traveled quite a bit and now I just want to relax. I've been having fond flashbacks of when Audrey and I got our first apartment right out of college together. We used to have contests to see who could do the least on our days off. Ahhh, that was great.
To add to the potential lazing, I found a nice speaker set by Pioneer, two good sized speakers for either side of the TV plus sub-woofer for only $300. I'd seen the same set for $500 at other stores. So I purchased it as a belated to self birthday present. :D
One of the trees at my junior high has started to bloom. I think I'll do a series of picture blogs of the sakura as they come in. They breed sakura here like people breed dogs in the US. The plant them at schools and city buildings and parks. And then in the spring when the trees bloom we all take extra long lunches and eat under the trees. If you don't have work you go and drink and be merry under the trees. I like that the best.
I'll be keeping a look out at what happens up north safely from my sofa. I should be able to hop a plane to Korea or Singapore if things get really scary.
Thanks to everyone for your support. I hope that the photos I post in the next week help you see how normal life is here in Nankan.