Friday, March 25, 2011


Many of my daily conversations consist of one morning and one late night discussion with Tetsu. (And a few words with the school kids, but they rarely answer back...) There aren't too many people out and about... Not many cars because of gasoline shortages. Not many walkers because of radiation scares of course. Occasionally I find someone walking their dog (human hidden under masks and hats and gloves... dog, fending for itself) and we will stop and chat about where we were when the earthquake struck etc. Before the earthquake people only nodded to each other (if that) but now we are hungry for conversation.

The day before yesterday I had just taken a shower with Choco (if she is going to be living in the house she needs to smell better) and though dressed, I was still dripping.

"Ding-dong." Someone at the front door. I quickly put Choco in her kennel and opened the door...

"Bajiwa-san!!!!!" our friend from the swimming pool! What a foreign display of public affection right there on the front porch!

Bajiwa-san had sought our house out from the vague directions I had given him months ago. "Over in the direction of an elementary school. Near a cemetery" Since the earthquake the pool has been closed and Bajiwa-san and I hadn't exchanged telephone numbers nor addresses. Until the pool opens (and we get gasoline) I assumed my pool friends were lost to me for the next few months.

But Bajiwa-san was worried about us and he came driving through the district, stopping at farm houses along the way asking if anyone knew where an American lady and her Japanese husband named Watanabe lived. And what do you know! I guess we are more observed than I thought because Bajiwa-san was easily directed to our house!

Such a good friend, and we chatted about what we've been doing since the earthquake. Not much in the way of work for Bajiwa-san. He has sent his son and daughter-in-law and their baby back to Pakistan for a few months. The relatives haven't seen the baby yet. But like me, he considers Japan his adopted country that has been good to him all these many years so he is not bailing out. (And he has a wife and her mother here that he doesn't want to leave.) It was so nice to chat with Bajiwa-san. Too bad I was all wet, but he usually sees me in the pool so I guess that's not new to him....


I got an text-message from one of my friends/students. We have canceled English until it is easier to move between cities. Mrs. S sent me this message:

Hi, Tanya-san! How are you again? I am fine, but I am depressed with the nuclear explosion plant problem. I wonder if it will really end or not. Day by day we are really worried about it.

Nowadays, it is still hard to get gasoline. There are so many cars in line to the gas stand. Mrs. K. said that her friend waited 5 hours to get it yesterday. So we decided this week's English lessons should be canceled. We really want to get together and chat together.

My husband still stays in my house, and he will stay one more week here. I rarely go out. I don't need to go out to buy food at the supermarket. The delivery service delivers food to me. I have no one to chat with except my husband. My husband is so so. Better than nothing. I really hope things calm down and we can get together next Wednesday.

Love, J
Better than nothing, huh? That made me laugh. Better than cats for sure. They say less than the school kids!

So, we are all a bit lonely, a bit bored, a bit unsettled. I feel blessed to live in an age when communication is at my fingertips and though you thank me for my updates, blogging and writing my small part of Japan's history has been a cheering and driving part of my past couple weeks. And I really must thank you all for commenting so much on my blog. It makes me feel connected and that friends are outside the closed doors. Thank you so much.

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