Update: May 11, two months post-quake

Trauma still comes in waves. I had to really fight myself not to cry at the gym today. I was lying on a stretch mat and noticed that they’d removed most of the light bulbs from the fixtures, and it struck me that this is now what passes for normal. Most stations and stores are still pretty dark, and they’re going to stay that way, although the supermarket was blasting some annoyingly loud music yesterday. Shopping as a noisy experience is part of Japanese culture, but loudspeakers are not very traditional. It’s charming to go to Ameyoko and hear the fishmongers touting their wares in their unique, gravelly voices. The supermarket is less charming.

There are still some shortages. Bottled water is still hard to find. For some reason, convenience stores don’t have madelaines anymore, but I’ve pretty much gotten over that addiction. Japanese tobacco is mostly unavailable. Apparently the factories that make the filters are gone. I had a chat with a tobacco shop owner, saying that I wanted the 5 milligram type and he showed me that the imports come in 4 and 6 but not 5. Who knew?

One of the trainers at the gym told me that he’d done some work for companies in Tohoku and will now not get paid for it. There’s no place to send the invoices. There’s much debate about where things will go from here. Fukushima will never recover, so TEPCO is looking at other power sources, mostly reliant on fossil fuels, and that brings on its own set of problems. The news said there have been over 8000 aftershocks since the main quake, but we’re not feeling them here anymore, except for the occasional ghost one.

This has nothing to do with the quake, but I saw a girl on the train yesterday wearing a white lacy peasant dress with white patent leather shoes and carrying a black leather bag with a white skull and the word “PINKSNOTDEAD” printed on it. Huh. Pink’s not dead? Pink snot dead? Or maybe it’s an anagram: I spot kind Eda? Maybe it’s a message. Or maybe I need to find something more constructive to do with my time.

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2 Responses to Update: May 11, two months post-quake

  1. karlina says:

    I love your sense of humor, and I have enjoyed seeing you express yourself through humor during some tough times. Breaking the tension…crafting a poignant image…and just for giggles. Humor is an unappreciated skill…and you got skills. Thank you for your blog.

  2. Loved being caught off guard in the final paragraph.

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