Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, March 21, 2011

As for the earthquake.. I was at Tokyo Disneyland

Of course it started as a beautiful perfect sunny day. Don't the worst days always start that way?

A few hours later and we were huddled with thousands of other people, waiting through the aftershocks, waiting to know if we were going home, and waiting through the rain that suddenly started to fall.

The line just to go the restrooms an hour after the earthquake was longer than the lines had been for most of the rides earlier that day.

We weren't going home. The train lines were stopped and there was no way back to Tokyo other than a 6 hour walk. So we wore plastic bags to keep the warmth in, barricaded ourselves with cardboard to keep the zero degrees wind out, and ate free cookies and chocolate because it was the only food we could get.

After 8 hours outside, the buildings were finally determined to be safe enough for us to shelter in for the rest of the night. We slept, (or tried to, as every aftershock had my heart pounding and my eyes on the exits) on cardboard in a theatre that would usually show a 3D movie about Michael Jackson and aliens, our own reality seemed more surreal somehow.

At 6am we were herded into buses back to Tokyo, stepping over the cracks in the carpark cement. "Ki o tsukete" the staff said in parting "be careful".

A week and a bit later I'm still in Japan but I'm back in Nagoya. The aftershocks that continued to reach me for days after left me constantly terrified, even though I logically knew they posed no threat to me. I made an evacuation bag anyway. I made plans with a teacher who lives in the same building as me in case we had to run. I'm not scared of the nuclear plant, though I am worried about the students I know who have moved to Tokyo. I had already booked my flight back to Australia in April before all of this happened and I'll be leaving Japan 16 days from now. I'm not running, I'm just returning. But it sure doesn't feel that way sometimes.