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Posts posted by IIIII

  1. Finding things in a big clean is the "while it's happening" benefit. Last year I found an envelope with 50,000 yen in it. I sort of recall putting it there like 5 years before and totally forgetting. Then once the clean is done, does feel good.

  2. This is just pathetic, in the telegraph




    It was much like having just stepped off a death-defying roller coaster. My English-language students and I had survived the “big one†– a powerful earthquake rumoured to be magnitude 9.

    The buildings had held up. Japanese architecture had proven to be sound. We were all fine. Everyone eagerly wanted to recount their unique and terrifying experiences. A sense of great relief and excitement prevailed. However, as the weekend wore on, any sense of euphoria diminished.

    Scenes of the devastation caused by the tsunamis were being played and replayed on the television news. The realisation that whole cities had been washed away hit home. It was clear that thousands upon thousands were dead. Yet, unbelievably, things got worse. News began to filter out concerning radiation leaks at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now the added terror of an invisible killer stalked the land, the sea and the air.

    Questions rolled around my mind: what was in the air that I was breathing? Had death’s process already started within my lungs? Would I be cancer-ridden in a couple of years?

    At about 130 miles south of Fukushima, was I far enough away to be safe from the effects of the airborne radiation? In what direction was the wind blowing now, in what direction had it been blowing yesterday, in what direction would it blow tomorrow? What was in the food? Was it safe to shower? What exactly did “meltdown†mean? Would there be a nuclear explosion? Was it all too late to save myself? What should I do?


    The bustling city of Saitama had become eerily quiet. Most people stayed indoors as a precaution against possible nuclear fallout. Could the wooden homes really block out the radiation? Masks were being worn. Would a piece of cloth really protect us?

    Most businesses had closed. Offices blocks and shopping malls had shut for strict structural checks. Power cuts started. Trains were reduced to a skeleton service. The shelves in the local supermarkets and convenience stores were thinning. I hadn’t been able to get bread for two days.

    Most Japanese homes almost certainly had a week’s worth of provisions in store. Throughout their lives, the Japanese receive training to prepare for the aftermath of an earthquake. Those who did venture out, patiently queued at the supermarket checkouts with their usual quiet dignity, but, like me, they could do no more than hope that the air that they were breathing was radiation-free.

    My family in the UK urged me to get out of Japan. I couldn’t see any good reasons for staying. I headed for the travel agency. After scouring the flights database, a seat was found for two days later. It was clear that many others were also making their escape.

    Having secured my ticket, I had to get to Narita airport. Transport problems were severe, so I set off a day early. What would normally have been a two-hour journey took six hours. As I changed trains, and waited on platforms, I worried about what was in the air that I was breathing. Perhaps everyone else shared my thoughts. We were all hoping for the best.

    All the airport hotels were fully booked. I needed somewhere to stay, so I went to Narita City and managed to get a room for the night. I lay on the bed, watching TV and trying to relax, when, at about 10.30pm, earthquake warnings sounded. Moments later, the hotel started to sway.

    A tremor had hit Shizoka, magnitude 6. Shizoka is near to Mount Fuji, a sleeping volcano. If a tremor caused it to erupt, then the earthquake, the tsunamis and the radiation leaks would pale into insignificance. I wondered whether a mighty volcanic eruption would be the next episode in this chain of disasters.

    Early next morning, at the airport, I was told to join a queue of about 1,000 people. An exodus from Japan was under way. And I was one of the well-dressed, well-fed refugees standing in line in an ultra-modern airport.

    It was time to board the plane. The queue was moving very slowly. We walked past screens showing the latest images of the destructive tsunamis, and of a deadly smoke rising out of a nuclear power plant. The threats of aftershocks, tsunamis and radiation leaks were bidding us sayonara. Death and destruction: our final memories of Japan.

    Finally, we took to the sky. An exchange group of young Japanese teenagers, on their way to Wales, were in nearby seats. Some began to cry. They hugged and comforted each other. Their parents, families, and friends were left behind in a tortured, writhing land.

    I wondered what was going through the minds of these young people. Big aftershocks were imminent. Tsunamis could hit again. New nuclear leaks could occur. And there could be thousands more deaths at any time. There was no known end point to nature’s terror. There was no one to negotiate a truce with. There was only uncertainty.

    And I, too, shed a tear as I watched the land shrink and disappear. I was now high and safe and in the clear, but was that really a cause for good cheer?

  3. Originally Posted By: muikabochi
    Israel fears sushi shortage after quake

    Situation in Japan may affect regular supply of ingredients for one of Israelis' favorite dishes

    "We'll be wiser once the situation in Japan stabilizes and the reconstruction begins," he explains. "I assume we'll know if there is going to be a shortage in the coming week. The main fear is of a shortage of the Kikkoman soy sauce. One Kikkoman factory in Japan was damaged and there have been delays in the supply, but we hope it won't stop the regular chain of supply."

    Got to feel for them!
  4. I like deep, soft, comfortable pillows.

    Last night I stayed in a fairly traditional Japanese accommodation and the pillow was just.... worsebthan bad.

    Small, hard - like it was full of peas - and basically really uncomfortable.

    Can't imagine how anyone can find that comfortable.

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