Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 months after the March 11th disaster.

_51693877_011530833-1[1]*Grab your favorite beverage of choice. This is a kind of long and mostly picture-less entry. But it explains what’s been going on since the disaster and why I haven’t updated for so long.*
Things have sure calmed down in Japan over the past few months. Japan went quiet for nearly five weeks after the disaster hit. Because of the current power crisis in North-Eastern Japan many businesses have taken it upon themselves to reduce their power consumption. Many businesses have removed most unessential light fixtures from their interiors and exteriors although things seem to be returning to normal output as of the writing of this entry.
During the first month or so it was hard to get a hold of simple daily goods like milk, eggs, and bread. A lot of production was halved or shut down due to power outages. People were hoarding simple daily goods and emergency goods even though the worst of the disaster was over. Most of the hoarders caused more trouble than good. Although we did add a little to the bottle water shortage I do admit. :/
JAPAN/BLACKOUTThe planned blackouts during the first few weeks of the disaster aftermath were incredibly inconvenient and really made many resent TEPCO even more than they already were for dropping the ball so hard on the Nuclear plants in Fukushima. The blackouts really changed how northern Japan looks. Tokyo and many other cities affected by TEPCO’s overdependence on old, limited number of power plants really changed their night life after the disaster hit. I am not sure how long it will be till I see annoying neon signs every where I go at night… not that that’s a bad thing. The thing I’m more annoyed about is how stingy offices, businesses, and restaurants will get with climate control till more power capacity is created. Even then, I wonder if Japan will revert to its old level of power consumption or will this turn a new page in Japan’s march for power conservation…
There was a lot of talk of foreigners leaving the country during this time which is true. Many foreigners did leave but it may have not been completely due to the disaster. One of my friends I trained with a few years back went back home because his parents bought him a ticket without really asking how he felt. He took it anyhow because his job renewal offer was crap so he found it to be good timing he got a free ticket out to leave his disaster of a job.
100308_SIGNS_exit_greenEX[1]Coincidentally it just so happened that the disaster struck during the last week of the fiscal and school year for 2010-2011. So many teachers who left were already planning to leave or had more incentive to leave because their jobs really don’t support them well enough to put up with any of the uncertainties that many living here were worried about.  I’m not sure how many actually left out of pure panic but I think a lot of it was justified if they were close to the epicenters of the tsunami and nuclear power plant.
As for any other foreigners that left during the crisis that lived further south in the unaffected areas, I am kind of at a loss of words for their hasty decision. Japan is small but it’s still big enough that something like this doesn’t affect the whole country. But that’s as much as I’ll say about that. It’s their own choice what they do, they have no real obligation to stay if they are a low wage expendable ALT like myself after all.
As for my wife and I, we were very concerned for our health and safety but we were geographically far enough away from the Fukushima that we didn’t have any reason to leave. So we’ve been here the whole time with no intentions of fleeing but we are quite happy that I didn’t change jobs to Tokyo/Chiba where I was looking for new jobs up till recently.
My wife was more worried about the nuclear repercussions than I was but now that I’ve seen how bad things have gotten, my skepticism wasn’t really helpful. We had a few arguments about where we buy our food from and future travel plans that were canceled because of this mess. In the end I agree that my wife was right and her caution was well justified. Especially now that we have a baby. The less risk we can expose our baby to while it’s in my wife, the better. Its one of the most vulnerable time for a developing child after all.
So we’re safe and the real reason why my blog has been dormant since November 2010 up till now is not because I died, moved back to the US, or forgot my blog password. I just lost interest in writing because I didn’t think I had an audience big enough to justify writing here when I have a Facebook account. But my good friend Matt changed my mind and from now on I am doing this just for him and my mother. If anyone else gets entertainment from my blog, that’s just a bonus. Smile


  1. Losing the motivation to do something you've done often just happens. Sometimes you get burnt out of it too. I know the feeling.

    Facebook is alright, but usually messages get shoved down by newer messages frequently on that feed.

  2. Yeah, facebook moves really fast. Especially if you have a lot of friends in your feed. Hopefully my blog refresh will get my readers to bookmark my site instead of waiting for email updates with links in them >_<