In trying to keep perspective, I made a list of some of the awful items in the newspaper: Drought in Europe, food prices rising in China, US unemployment is at 10%, active volcano in Chile, continuing awfulness in the Middle East….
This was an exercise in futility that did not make me feel any better. Our news has understandably faded from the world scene but that doesn’t make it any less immediate for us. TEPCO keeps leaking bits of news about how much worse the situation is than they had let on. It wasn’t a meltdown, it was a melt through. Thousands of gallons of radioactive water need to be disposed of. It goes on and on. The economy is a mess. The exchange rate is putrid. I can’t concentrate and am having severe motivation problems. But maybe that’s just spring fever.
Things are back to “normal” in a sense, but “normal” now means lights and escalators are turned off, aftershocks still make us jump out of our skins, some things are not available. We can’t get blue cheese, of all things, so naturally I’m drooling for blue cheese salad dressing. Our biggest worry is summer. We’re all right now, but when the worst of the summer heat and humidity kicks in, are we going to be able to use our air conditioners? It doesn’t seem right to be whining about that. There are still thousands living in shelters. Government agencies are building temporary housing, but mostly in places nobody wants to live, and many don’t have running water. Donation money is not getting distributed, or is distributed weirdly. If you lost a relative, you get this much. If you lost your house, you get this much. If your house was only damaged, you get this much. Plus much documentation got washed away along with the government buildings that housed it, so people can’t prove where they lived or what they had. The drama plays out in unexpected ways.
There’s no good way to segue into this, but I wanted to mention it anyway. I saw a guy on the train the other day wearing a baseball cap with the word “Inhabitant” printed on it. Well…OK, but as opposed to what? Tourist? Alien? I’m already required to carry my alien registration card at all times. Are we going to be required to wear our residency status on our clothes?