Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tohoku Quake - Day 9

On Friday, my company requested that the staff leave the Kanto area, not because we are worried of imminent nuclear fallout, but rather as a precaution for any situation that may perhaps grow out of control and be too late to leave. Also, Monday is a holiday, so we already had a 3 day weekend. We don't have work anyways, so why not send people to a 'safer' distance to watch as the situation evolves in Fukushima. Anyways, as a result, I am currently visiting friends as I do a little tour of central Japan.

11:00 pm JST (9:00 am CST)
First off, an update on what I know so far. Aside from another earthquake in Ibaragi this evening, they've been spraying more water onto reactor 3, and I hear they have managed to get the dousing to run completely automatic for 7 hours. Furthermore, I believe they have also restored/soon will restore power to reactors 1 and 2, so cooling from the pumps within can get their situation under control. We're still not out of the woods, but this sounds like good progress.

I have also heard rumor though, that milk and spinach (why not other veggies...?) may have been contaminated (cows eating radiated grassing) and are therefore out of stock. We went to the supermarket in Nagoya today though, and... there was plenty of milk there. Not sure what the deal is with that, but I guess I'll hold off on milk and spinach when I get home until I can find out more information? That's about the only thing you really can do. It's so hard to tell what rumors are fact and other just sensationalist exaggeration, but you have no choice but to believe the worst of the stories to be true unless proven otherwise, and act accordingly till then.

Actually I have no idea what news stories are running in the US or other countries, since I'm watching all my news in Japanese, but remember that speech given by the emperor a few days ago? Apparently in Indonesia the news reported this as the Emperor saying goodbye to the doomed country. Talk about exaggeration. There are plenty of different stories out there about whether it's really dangerous or not. If you want some comfort, this is a really good one. I want to, and for the most part believe it to be true, but I'd still continue to take precaution where I can. And frankly we would all be more than happy to return from this 5 day extended weekend trip, laughing at the silly idea of "fleeing the Kanto area."

But for now, since I'm out here and have 2 more additional vacation days... I'm going to enjoy it! This afternoon I went to the Toyota Automobile Museum, or TAM, which coincidentally is Khing's first name. Plus he also used to be a mechanic, so it was almost like I went to his museum, haha.

I took a ton of pictures I'll upload at a later time, but my favorite was this guy:

That is so the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!!!

Ok, not exactly the same. But the lights in the front and on the side? The general long body and shape of the fenders. The large wheels, with a spare tire on the drivers side? So far I can't find any info on what specific vehicle the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car was created from/modeled after, and actually it seems to have been designed for the movie, but man it sure looks similar to that Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost at the museum. This article seems to agree with me.

Now if only I had a cap, some navigator goggles and leather gloves I would've hopped right in and flown out the building.

Well tomorrow I'm heading to Osaka to (FINALLY) hang out with my friend Alex. More updates as they come in!

12:00 pm JST (10:00 pm CST)


A gas station we stopped at, waiting 20 minutes for gas, rationed at 20 liters per person.

Made it! The Crown Hotel in Nagoya... at 2:30 in the morning.

Oh yea, Japanese hotel's got an onsen, so I get my own kimono garb.

Men. I was extra careful to make sure I went to the right one.

This was a nicer breakfast than I was expecting, all you can eat to boot.

Thomas' car that got us here. Thank you so much Thomas for waiting and driving me here.

Khing's place in Nagoya.

The name plate at Khing's house. Says 'Tam' and 'Asamura'.

11:45 am JST (9:45 pm CST)
Hey Khing, you've got a nice place here in Nagoya. Just a liiitle bit more urban than little ol Shake. Well I'm at my coworker's place in Nagoya today. I'll do a little sightseeing while I'm here, and continue westward to Osaka tonight or tomorrow probably.

10:30 am JST (8:30 pm CST)
What a week it has been. Who would've guessed I would be on the subway in Nagoya after leaving the Tokyo area as a precaution to an involving nuclear situation in Fukushima.

Anyways, woke up at 9 and got some unexpectedly good breakfast. I took a picture I'll post later when I get an internet connection. Now I'm on the subway, heading toward Fujigaoka to meet up with my coworker, Khing-san. He offered to show me around Nagoya, so I took him up on the offer. I guess I get to go into tourist mode now? Might as well take advantage of and enjoy the situation as I can.


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