2011-03-16

Random Acts Of Kindness.

Friday night was spent huddled beneath the blankets and I went to bed about 8pm. Throughout the night there were intermittent aftershocks, first one would rock you gently back & forth then the next would jolt you upright. We still get them and apart from last night's 6.2 in Shizuoka, they're now taken with a few grains of salt.

All night long we've been lulled to sleep with the claxon-call of sirens yet I haven't heard a single one in a couple of hours. That's a good sign that normality is slowly peeking out.

Everyone around the world is of course freaking out about the nuclear reactor and with just cause. But there has been so much misinformation that it has done more harm than good. (They're giving out iodine pills in Vancouver for goodness sake! Ever think of sending a few of those over this way?)

Back to the saga...Saturday morning, I was up bright and early and actually tidied up a bit (though it's hardly discernible) and spent the afternoon biking around trying to find a bit of kerosene for my space heater. (It figures that I'd run out Thursday night--"oh, I can always get some after work on Friday." Best laid plans.) Riding around my neighbourhood, you could see the lineups starting but dopey me forgot to take my camera to capture some of the disarray. I saw a Golf store with its front window smashed and clubs sitting within easy reach. Not a single one was missing (then again, it was midday). I saw some rubble from a few walls that had fallen, but the worst was a lower ramp from an over-the-street walkway had collapsed about 1.5 meters down and just lay flat on the sidewalk. A little creepy. Almost all of the gas stations were closed for petrol but a few were doling out 軽油 (lamp oil) into metal containers but none had the type I needed for my heater.

I'd given up hope and then I'd espied a lineup for a payphone and since my cell phone was inoperative, I joined the queue. I had a phone card but it wouldn't work and then the lady behind me said "No money" and dropped a 10¥ coin in and that gave you a dial tone. I tried a few local numbers to ケイタイ (keitai=cell phones) to no avail and then I thought of my Tokyo friends who had a landline and were ex-neighbours of my brother. I got through to them (for FREE, you even get your coin back) and assured them of my well-being. (No gas or electricity but I did have water, a little food and shelter.) They called my brother and left word of my haleness. Because there was a long line behind me, I couldn't chat long and never knew of the devastation in coastal towns and Fukushima was as yet not a major problem.

Wandering home, the sun had dipped, the cold had started and I wasn't looking forward to another frigid night. Walking down the street outside my place was a woman carrying an 18-litre container of the liquid I needed. I asked her where she obtained it and I followed her directions as best as I could. By-passing a VERY long line of cars awaiting a fill-up, I managed to fill up my 18-litre container (which they had to crank out by hand.) And then the Gas Station closed up shop for they were defunct of all fluids.

Now that I had warmth, I stayed up until about ten and finished reading Neil Gaiman's Stardust by candlelight, a rather appropriate illumination for that tome.
I even got to cook dinner on my Space Heater/stove. Mmmm.



Day 3 follows shortly. I need to catch up on the news to see the latest.

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