Thursday, March 17, 2011

Still in Japan

    Today is March 17, 2011.

(I ran out of time to upload this blog last night because the café with wifi closed early.)

On the way to the train station, I spotted my favorite cat. She lives in a parking lot across the river near my apartment. I’m not a cat person. I’ve never owned a cat in my life, but I like her although I don’t know if the cat is female or male. It doesn’t matter. I like everything about her or him. She is orange, white, and black. She looks dirty, so I don’t touch. But she comes closer and pressed her body against my leg. She knows I like her. So, I like her more.

I’m still in Japan... Some people in the U.S. have asked me if I’m still in Japan or if I want to go back. I heard many foreigners went back home. My son has been asking me to go back to the U.S. I appreciate all he wrote to me, but I told him,

“I’ll think about it, but I’m here because I don’t have a U.S. health insurance.”

“Health insurance doesn’t do any good if you’re dead,” he replied.

Mmm. He is right…if I’m dead. I’ve been thinking what I should do. First, my children are grown and independent, so I don’t have that heavy responsibility of raising them. On the other hand, I don’t want to die yet. But at least, I don’t have that responsibility. And I can’t possibly be in two places at the same time. That’s what I’ve been telling myself all these years. I’ve been thinking back and forth. And yes, the nuclear reactors’ incidents are making us worry. Japan is facing the worst disaster ever, and I’m helpless. I’m thinking about it and then about a three-hour power outage.

“The power cuts schedule shows my area three times tomorrow. If I have to suffer without electricity for 9 hours a day, I’ll go back to the U.S.” I wrote this to my son yesterday.

This morning, I awoke at 6 to make my breakfast. The outage was scheduled between 6:20 am and 10 am, but it didn’t happen. Tokyo Denryoku hasn’t given us a fix schedule, but I can’t blame them for it. Some of their workers are risking their lives to neutralize the affected nuclear reactors. Also, the self defense force had a plan to fly over the site with sea water, but the radiation was over the limit, so they couldn’t execute their plan.

In the meantime, many businesses are affected by the outage. The central library is usually open until 8 pm, but they close at 5 pm for now. Everyone I meet is affected by this, and all of them say that this outage is good for us. We all realized how dependent we’ve been to electricity. Nobody complains because this inconvenience is so small compared to the suffering those northeast people are going through. Many people are dead.

I spend my time writing, and I read because I want to write better. I think most of my waking hours I spend time in order to write. I eat, walk, sleep, read, go places and talk with people to relax so that I can go back to write. So, either I’m in the U.S., or in Japan, I do the same. If I return to the U.S. right now, I probably write more about the human behaviors, language and cultural differences and so on closely related to this disaster. In that case, I’m better off staying here and write if I feel reasonably safe and if the electricity cuts stay reasonable.


California Writer said...

Wonderful blog. Keep writing this great blog.

keiko amano said...

Thank you, Julia. Yes, I will. Please let me know if you have any suggestion. And thank your for an interesting article. I'll respond to it soon.

Rebb said...

Keiko, I'm a little behind in my reading. This blog is beautiful. I can't think of another word. We are able to get an up close and personal perspective about what is going on. It feels like you've found your flow--all that reading and continued writing shows a noticeable difference in your writing.

I also appreciate how you remind us that incidents like this force us to see how dependent we are on certain things and how easy it is to take life for granted.

You are a strong spirit, Keiko, and your writing has a calming affect despite the tragedy and the internal decision making you are going through.

I enjoy reading your work.

keiko amano said...


Thank you. I can't help it, but write and keep on writing.