Update: April 3

We actually went to a party today. It was a friend’s baby’s birthday, and the party was supposed to be last weekend but she couldn’t get the stuff together at the time. It doesn’t matter. He’s only one and probably doesn’t know what a birthday is yet. I called her before we went and although she usually asks for booze or dessert, this time she asked if I could find some mineral water. We have a couple of cases that we ordered before it disappeared from stores, so that wasn’t a problem. There are plenty of other things to drink; we just can’t get bottled water. But Tokyo tap water is still fine. Many years ago it tasted like liquid death, but it’s quite tasty now, which reminds me of something. Also many years ago, we couldn’t get American mayonnaise. I was talking with one of the American military moms whose kid was in our video and she said she did her shopping at the PX on base. It used to be, “Hey man, can you get me some drugs?” but then it was, “Hey man, can you get me some mayonnaise?” and now it’s, “Hey man, can you get me some water?”

One woman at the party said that in some ways the tsunami was lucky, if that’s the right word. She pointed out that it struck at 2:30 in the afternoon, when people were at work or in school, rather than 2:30 in the morning, when everyone would have been in bed. I hadn’t thought of that. Another thing that came up was how everyone keeps feeling aftershocks that aren’t happening, so I’m comforted to know that my PTSD is not unique. Craziness loves company.

This morning’s paper explained some of the current shortages, like drink makers can’t get plastic caps for soft drink bottles and publishers can’t get ink or paper. Natto (sticky, stinky fermented soy beans) makers can’t get foam packing trays. Hiroshi noted that there probably isn’t much natto itself, since it mostly comes from the north. In their infinite wisdom, people in the south don’t eat it, so it isn’t produced there.

The other day, one of the voice actors I work with mentioned that the American school is still about half empty since most expats have bugged out. Over lunch, my Japanese colleagues thanked me for staying, not just because there’s work to do, but because it showed a certain solidarity with Japan, which I thought was kind of touching. I didn’t tell them that it was more of a certain solidarity with my kitties. I really don’t know what I might have done if they weren’t a factor.

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