Strange Days and Stressful Times

It’s strange days and stressful times here in Japan. While the devastation in the affected areas is gut-wrenching, most of the country is trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Despite everyone’s concern (and multiple early morning phone calls) my bus trip this morning was not late, overcrowded, or impossible. Classes resumed as normal at my visit school and there was a strange mix of nervous tension and excitement as the announcement of those accepted for the new school year went live at 10 AM.

Around midday I got a call from my supervisor that classes at my main school had been canceled today, tomorrow, and even the day after. Teachers could take Nenkyuu, or Paid Time Off, and my supervisor said that she was doing so because of limited gas availability, and perhaps I would too so that I could stay inside? I decided against it, as my time off is rather limited, and I’m just as safe sitting at my desk as I am in my pajamas at home (though less cozy!)

I believe the official reason for canceling classes is not the Nuclear situation, but because my school draws students from all over the prefecture (and even the neighboring ones) so many students rely on the trains which are currently disrupted and running on limited schedules. We have yet to actually see one of the promised rolling black-outs, however, though a friend in a nearby city just slept through one.

Then when I left work for the day, they insisted that I put on a surgical mask, and bring home extra for Sean. It was really sweet, but did make me a bit nervous and if radiation levels were actually that bad, a bit of tissue on my face probably won’t help too much.

The most important thing right now is trying to keep a level head in all of this. Panic begets panic, and while Japanese media coverage is impressively level-headed, people are starting to get a bit nervous about everything. It’s a scary situation, with lots of troublesome words, but still, there’s tons of compelling evidence that WE ARE OK and will continue to be ok.

People are understandably nervous as we face some very big, intimidating topics. That being said, fear-mongering & rumor spreading helps no one, and the chances are very much in our favor that we will be fine. As my students say when facing big, scary things, “FIGHTO!”

Further Earthquake Related Posts:

Earthquake Day 0

Earthquake Day 1

Earthquake Day 2

Earthquake Day 3


About superhappyawesome

Living in Japan!
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10 Responses to Strange Days and Stressful Times

  1. Haikugirl says:

    Yes, we will be fine! In fact, we are fine! 🙂 We shaking, we’re rattling, we’re rolling, but we, Japan, will keep on going, right? Gotta love this country. Not just for its fighting spirit, but also for its never-ending belief in those masks…

    Anyway, you seem ok hon – hope you stay that way! 🙂

    • I’m a little bit stressed, but definitely ok! How are you doing? Especially tonight after Shizuoka got a taste of the bumpy stuff! It makes me sad that so many ALTs in my area are bailing, but really we’re perfectly ok! And we do have plenty of surgical masks to keep us safe 🙂

      • Haikugirl says:

        I’m totally fine – thanks. Just freaked, you know. Man, yeah, I heard about some people bailing too. I feel almost guilty for my plan to leave in April – even though I’ve been planning that for 6 months!

      • Grant says:

        Who is leaving? I’ll admit I don’t think anybody I know has decided to head out as yet.

      • Grant, I think at least 3-4 people you know (maybe just periphierally) have bugged out, along with another couple friends of friends and a couple more considering. I don’t want to name names on the blog, but it seems like the New Zealand contingent is particularly jumpy. I guess after Christ Church they were already stressed, and it’s just too much? Still, I wonder how the schools/BOEs are going to take it 😦

  2. NTG says:


    I feel so strange; a combination of knowing I’m doing all I can at the same time there is nothing I can do. I think, knowing me and how I react to things (anxiety disorder, gotta love it, right?), that I SHOULD be freaking out, but somehow I’m… not? Despite being unable to sleep and things getting really goofy with trains and food and whatnot, I’m just… calm. I gotta say, this is the closest to zen I’ve ever gotten. I guess it’s appropriate that I’m in Japan for it?

    • NTG says:

      Also, a lot of people on base are leaving, and/or complaining that they want the government to pay for them to leave. Hm. I don’t really know what I think about all that.

  3. Watashimo says:

    Well, I’m positive the nuclear situation is fine. If you actually read up on how nuclear reactors work you’ll see that its all fine. The radiation leaks that did occur were from the control rods (not the uranium fuel rods) and that type of radiation decays within minutes. Now, you’ll only have a problem if the containment on the core is broken and the radiation from the fuel rods gets out. The chances of that happening are slim to none. The explosions are from the steam breaking down into hydrogen and oxygen and then the hydrogen igniting – but that only damaged the building, not the containment.

    Nuclear Power Plants are EXTREMELY safe.

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