Thursday, December 06, 2012
this is one i wrote on 13 March 2011. I am in Japan.I do not know what will happen tomorrow. But remember, even in malaysia, you dont know what will happen tomorrow. But in this situation of disaster and emergency, i think i am atleast lucky to be in this country compared to in any other country because the empathy and sympathy towards each other is admirable. Vending machines selling canned drinks were free flow on the day of the earthquake, but everyone only drank the amount they needed and didnt try to rob the vending machines to zero. it made me wonder if it would be the same in Malaysia? Public phones were free immediately since the reception of mobile phones the all jammed up. lines were extremely long but people were still thinking of others when using the phones. My university, which is Meiji University keep sending information and updates to all of us especially foreign students. it is all very admirable. Lecturers and staffs email us all the time, calling us, asking how i am faring. For the roof i have now, for the people i have around me now, for the electricity i have now, for the internet connection i have now, for the food i have now, for the water i have now, for the wishes i received now, for the words of encouragement i have now. I admire and i am thankful. .
i wrote this on the 12th of April 2012. Titled: i do not want to forget. Today is the 11th of April 2011. Last month on this very day, the earth shook so hard where i stood in the middle of my missable kitchen ,that i ran out of my house barefooted a couple of times. so it has been a month. i am afraid that i might forget that moment and that is why i am writing this: as a reminder to myself. On that very same day, just few minutes after the biggest tremor, a couple of smaller ones kept occuring. announcements came one after another came from the City Council from the speakers. everyone ran outside of their homes and onto the roads. people were holding their children and many came out empty handed. The small river in front of the house, lined with sakura trees were still barren. no leaves or no signs of budding sakuras. it was still too cold. The river was a very very shallow one. The river waters shook and swayed to the right and then to the left continously. then it started to shake harder, making the water spill onto the roads on both sides. it was like watching a sampan with some water in it being rocked sideways, enough to spill the water to the left and right side. At that very time, who would have guessed that the northern regions of tokyo has been hit by tsunami. Although there have been tsunami warning erlier because of the previous earthquake in Miyagi/Iwate a few days earlier, no one was prepared for a blow as big as this. On the very evening i was supposed to go to University at 3pm to meet a friend in Meiji University to collect a Banana Republic Shopping Coupon. I was still at home at the time of the quake ( at about 2.45pm) because some friends came over to my house after our friday Biryani at Tikka House to taste my bread pudding. It was a friday and many gather there after Friday prayers. Afiela and Fahmi left for gyotoku eki after lunch. we were separated. After that, at about 4 oclock, after watching all sorts of news on TV and getting in touch with some friends online through Skype and FB, all sorts of information and feeelings rushed into me. i kept telling myself to stay calm. all phone lines were useless at that time. Prelimenary annoucements mentioned that everyone near the shore should be 15 meters above to be safe. i was near the shore. i was near Disneyland and DisneySea because i could hear the fireworks at night, everynight and if on a clear night, i could see the fireworks between the buildings. Bare in mind that the tremors are still going on. Although smaller, i dont know if it was reading regarding the oil shock in japan that made me think of toilet paper but i took the bicycle to a small grocery shop nearby 'Attack'. Goods fell everywehre from the shelves and some even broke into pieces. Panic buying was in the air but it was only the start. well, at that moment, the shop keeeper would have thanked the gods for the name of the shope because, it was truly attacked!!! People were already starting to line up to buy toilet paper ( the oil shock and the toilet paper story) and water. rice was also seen quite in demand. i joined the crowd. After buying some things i needed including bananas, i headed to a small bay near my hse because i wanted to see if the water level has risen. it didnt but the roads cracked, the streets were jammed and the traffic lights were not workng. Order was in but people are worried because the phones were out. People couldnt be in touch with family and friends.only internet was functioning. ONLY internet. FB was a GREAT HELP.SKYPE was a saviour. TWITTER was a hero. INTERNET was the leader and soul provider of disaster management. i quickly realized how important the internet infrastructure is. GOOD and reliable internet infrastructure.and again, i am so thankful for it. believe me the day was long and between uncomplrehendable japanese news on the TV and radio, mixed responses on internet, and msges from friends, i managed the night. i was calmer after afiela was saved by a Hero whom name i will keep anonymous but he knows who he is :) Afiela even had a newspaper article in Utusan Malaysia on the next day telling her experience during the quake. i shall not want to forget that night. we were both uncertain, we both were thinking hard, thinking of circumstances, various scenarios and our minds were reeking with concerns but we slept that night only to be awaken by another goyang inul very early the next morning. I was glad Afiela was there with me. Oyasuminasai. .