Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

Earthquake Update: March 15, 4:10 pm

I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but some things need to be repeated: Do. Not. Panic.

I am getting so tired of seeing messages like “It’s another Chernobyl in Japan!”, or “Get the hell out of Tokyo now,” or “If you go outside wear a mask and protective clothing,” or “Where can I get iodine pills?”. People, you are *not helping.*

Seriously, if any of my friends or family or other people who read this blog are seriously in a panic about the nuclear plant, send me a message and I will call you and talk you down. Take deep breaths. Panic is not the answer.

In other news, I just returned from my first trip into the city since the quake. Trains are apparently running at a limited capacity, but I honestly didn’t notice anything different on the Chiyoda Line or the Chuo Line. Managed to pay my rent, acquire several loaves of bread at one of the only bakeries in town that wasn’t completely sold out, and get a book called Dawn of the Bunny Suicides that is making me laugh whenever I feel anxious.

Everywhere I go people ask, “Are you okay?”. I thought maybe it was because I look foreign and they’re assuming I’m more traumatized by the quake than other people, but it seems like everyone is asking each other that, from the cashiers at the grocery store to the post office clerks to the staff at my apartment agency.

There were a few sizable quakes in the early hours of the morning that had me leaping from my bed and rushing for the door, but they were very brief “jolt” quakes that didn’t last more than a few seconds–one quick, loud jump and then it was all over. Heart stopped pounding within a minute or two and I was back to sleep.

The likelihood of another big quake hitting by March 17 has gone down from 70% to 40%, which is good news in my book. Still keeping that bag of emergency stuff handy, but I may actually try to have a ‘normal’ day tomorrow and get back to work. The blackout that was scheduled from 12:20-4:00 for my neighborhood didn’t happen (or maybe it ended before I got home), so hopefully if people continue to conserve electricity the need for blackouts will be limited.

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Anne McKnight

writing•translation•scholarship on Japan (and a few other things)

A Modern Girl / モダンガール

tales of travel, research, and life

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