3/19/2011

Glad that Situation gets better....

http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/plecture/bmonreal11/
This was helpful to understand the nuke plant situation.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/axel-lieber/why-i-stay-in-tokyo/10150164049983623
This is also agreeable as current assessment.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/world-health-organization-says-no-travel-bans-needed-to-contain-japan-health-risks/2011/03/18/AB3ReEp_story.html
Another from WHO.

Slept Well

I slept so well. I think we are all tired this weekend. Physically, there were some aftershocks and some new quakes ( smaller ) and our sleep was disturbed. Also, mentally probably we don't realize it,but surely stressed from all the confusion and worries... worries about quake, radiation, food shortage, power shortage and its preparation etc....

Slept like " sleeping beauty " although no prince showed up in my place to wake me up !
So, I had to get up and start my day, it starts with prince or without anyways !

It's so nice to have peaceful weekend. I'd like to clean up my place...wondering if I should do it now or tomorrow. Will see.

Phew. It seems people in quake/tsunami hit area started receiving foods and fuels. Military people, self defense people, all the related organizations are working hard. Thanks to them.

3/18/2011

Today's Lunch

Quiche and Soup.

There is DONQ ( French Bakery ) in Peacock store in Shimokitazawa. This quiche is from there and soup.... I made in 10 min.

Ingredients:
2,3 stalks of Chinese Chives
1/3 carrot/ sliced
Ground beef and pork ( 50 g)
Grape seed oil ( 1 table spoon )
White wine ( 1 table spoon )
Grated ginger / Miso ( 1 table spoon )
Soup powder ( to your taste )
Water ( 2 cups )


1. Heat the pan and pour oil.
Start cooking meat.
2. Add carrot. Keep cooking. Add white wine to kill the meaty smell.
3. Add soup powder ( Maggie's or any brand ) and water.
4. Add chives. Add miso and dissolve.
5. Add ginger.

Usually I use Japanese soup powder ( dashi ) for miso soup, but this works also.

How It looked Today --- Shimokitazawa/ Tokyo


This is near my place. Most shops are open. People are shopping and walking on the streets.

Probably less people, but things are quite normal.

Yes, some shops are closing early... to save energy and avoid whole city blackout.

I checked supermarket. They are selling foods and others. I have to admit their selection is bit limited, but all I needed was there.

Girl Scout Cookies from American Friend


I met this Japanese American friend who lives in Chicago the other day. We had dinner and it was so nice to catch up. I think we hadn't met at least 10 years !

One reason is my fault. I hadn't written Christmas card. Our correspondence stopped.
I still feel bad about it apologized her. I am going to write more this year !

Thanks to internet, through social networking service, I found her and we got connected again.

She gave me this cookies.... her daughter is girl scout member and this is Girl Scouts' Shortbread cookies. Yesterday's breakfast. It was nice.

What I gave her ? I should have taken the photo. It was a bottle of table salt... in white salt, pretty pink particles are mixed.... cherry blossom flavored salt ! I 've never used it, but it looked so pretty and seasonal. Hope she enjoys it ! I should buy one and try.

Nuclear Power Plant --- I am staying here in Japan

I 've received many messages regarding earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Thank you all.
First it was to check about me and people around me. Then, the concern was shift to nuclear.
Since yesterday, some friends including foreign friends living overseas have suggested me leaving Tokyo soon.

One friend of Tokyo called from Okayama ( far west ) and said she 'd moved and warned me " leave now before it's too late ! ". While other friends, clients etc. are still working here, her voice sounded desperate.

I gathered information, asked around and decided to stay. It seems the situation is little better now. That is one reason. Another reason is if I live closer to the plant, I should, but my place is 250 km away from the plant. Studied Chernobyl Disaster again. If I left with minimum items, I will have to come back later to pick up things anyways. Also, how long should I be away ? You have no answer. If the disaster affects here,almost same if I return later.

That friend called me this afternoon and apologized for her urgent warning and agitation.
Well, she has good heart and tried to help me. The information she was reading has bit agitating tone. hmmm, here again, it is difficult. For now, I trust my decision, but her warning could have been right.

What I do in these circumstances is to gather information ( trustworthy ) and ask your instinct and decide. This is sometimes very difficult. I am feeling right now... if we dump everything now, economy will stop. That will be 2nd disaster for Japan. Of course, if I really feel my life is in danger, I will leave, but for now, I will be staying.

There are foods and supplies @ stores. I just checked today. No confusion. One thing I am worried about is FUEL. Because of fuel shortage, the logistics are not functioning normally and that is one reason that the distribution to the stores is bit behind the schedule.

Hope things get better and the problems to be resolved shortly.

3/17/2011

Trying to Help is Not so Simple --- Heart Broken Friend

It was learning experience for me also, so let me share this story. It is heart-wrenching for everybody to see and imagine the life of those people. Even if they survived quake and tsunami, they have lost many of their families, valuables, all the things with memories ( photo albums, furniture, homes...) and are suffered from cold inconvenient environment. ( It is getting better, but because of cut off roads, distribution is still far behind. Lunch is just a ball of rice. )

A friend of mine living in Hawaii tried to do something. She is Japanese and naturally tried to do something nice. Wanted to help people in afflicted area. Along with donation, she and her friends decided to make a banner with messages and send that to the site.

Then she was advised not to.... her friend explained why. " Imagine they are trying to survive. Then they get message from heaven like warm, tropical Hawaii. Not now, please." also, there was some blog note written by a survivor of Kobe earthquake ( from now 17 years ago ? ). He has seen volunteer people who came casually expecting to be thanked and just having fun there doing only easy work. That was even worse than the quake experience itself.

His advice was to realize " even if you feel like to do something, just realize you can do nothing and cannot feel real feeling how they are feeling. donate and save energy and pray... that is all . other than that, leave it up to professionals such as Self Defense Force. "

My friend was deeply shocked. She just tried to do something. Yet, I also understand the point.
yes, it is literally SURVIVAL those people are going through. I'm also outsider.... have to admit no power to do. The word of HELP might sound annoying for them. hmmmm. delicate issue.

Another learning day today.

Today's Lunch @ Freshness Burger


Their classic cheese burger is delicious. I think.
They gave me a bottle of ketchup and mustard, but I didn't use them.

The beef is juicy and the tomato is thick and fresh.

mmmmm. Also, orange juice is real, squeezed one.

As you can see, restaurants are open ( they close bit early now to save energy )and there are foods. Just rice, bread and instant noodles sold at stores are running out. There are supplies, but because people are worried too much, it looks like they are short. Also, at least in Tokyo area, there you will see no damage. Buildings are there with no damage and people are walking and shopping normally.

The only change for us here is electric power supply ( in my area, not affected ) and train schedule. Train schedule is also the result of electric power supply and trains are little reduced to save energy. That is also getting better.

Tonight, there was some announcement that we might be short of power and sudden blackout might occur... yet, since the day of quake, I have always with power supply.

You never know when this kind of disaster come. I believe we just have to go back to everyday life and activate economy, for eventually that will save Japan.

Cherry Blossom Danish @ Donq


Visited Donq @ Peacock store in Shimokitazawa.

There is little cherry blossom ( salted ) on the right top, can you see ?

Crumbles in the center and the inside was pale pink and had some sweet red beans.

It's time to live normal life for us.... if we stop working, buying ( adequately ), that doesn't help Japan.  Let's keep head up and move forward.

The Donut had Natto--- Fermented Beans

The donut, shown previous post is being sold @ Natto Shop --- Specialized in fermented beans. The flavor was cinnamon and apple. I wouldn't be able to tell if I just eat that. It's not greasy at all. I think they don't fry it, just bake it.

3/16/2011

We need to relax little

This shows people's anxiety... I guess. Drugstores do not have toilet rolls, tissue paper....Supermarket do not have foods.... breads... rice.... just in case, I checked with rice shop... they are selling only rice.... they didn't have rice !

Don't panic, the most important thing is to help sending goods to those quake hit area.... gasoline also.

I saw people buying many instant noodles.... what are you gonna do with all those !?

Just buy what you need for a few days, not for months ! please.

Donut --- Very Japanese



This donut has some very Japanese ingredient. You cannot tell, though, it has no taste of that.

What is that ?

3/15/2011

Little Laugh

This is a joke that my friend was tweeting. He copied and pasted from someoneelse's.

It may sound imprudent and discriminating,but don't take it seriously, please. It is about time to have little laugh. Actually, I have been watching shocking quake news and it has been depressing week.

Everybody knows that we are all praying for victims. Now we need to smile and move forward.

OK, here is the joke:

" How people would react to the scheduled blackouts ? "

US: Burglary in many stores.
China: Never mind, for it often happens.
France: Lovebirds talk.
Germany: Already prepared with solar batteries
Japan: Scheduled blackout was avoided due to nation's efforts of saving energy. People start getting angry, for the blackout was not conducted as scheduled :-)

For Your Pet

I didn't write anything about your pets. If you have dogs, cats etc.... it's probably better to think about their food also.
Or at least you can think what to do about them.

List of Emergency Kit

If you live by seashore, probably the best thing to do is just run. Run to the higher place, upper hill, the top of the building.
It seems like this Tsunami hit those missing people within 10 minutes after the quake. In Iwate prefecture or Miyagi prefecture,
the waves were more than 10 meters and even 3rd floor or 4th floor were not high enough. I don't mean to scare you, just in case, wanted you to know the fact and hope you will not face this kind of incidents.

Let me write about this kit now. If you have this, it might help you in some ways or help some others around you.

1) Food
instant / readymade packed food/ canned food/ sea biscuit /chocolate or candy bars

2) Drinkable Water
for 3 days supply. I have 2 big bottles and 2 small bottles

3) Water
for toilet use etc. I am using fruit liquor bottle. 1 big one and 2 small ones.
This is not something you can carry, but if you are stuck at home and water supply was stopped, you can use this.

4) Medical Goods
antiseptic substance/ vulnerary/ gastrointestinal drug / cold med/ surgical cotton/ band-aid/cotton gauze
your daily medication / eye glasses or contact lenses

5) Necessities
tissue/flashlight/dry-cell batteries / radio / back up batteries / can opener /paper or aluminum plates /plastic wrap ( if you place this on plates, you don't have to wash plates )/chop sticks or spoon and folks / knife/ lighter / mobile phone and its
back up batteries/ sanitary goods / portable body warmer ( usually sold in package ) / towels / portable toilet or disposable toilet bag / garbage bag

6) Valuables
cash / stamp ( in japan instead of signature, name stamp is required ) / bank book / powdered milk or formula ( if you are with babies) +baby bottle

7) Clothes
hat or helmet ( actually, i need to buy one hard helmet ) / blanket/ underwear / sweater or sports jacket/ work gloves

8) Others
If you can put a pair of shoes by the bed, it's better to have one.
portable gas stove ( you can't carry this with you, but when all the infrastructure was cut off, this will help. )
oil marker / pen ( to leave message etc.)
sleeping bag

I have one light emergency kit and another for clothes etc. When you are running, you can't probably carry all these, so in that case, you can come back later if your home is safe or if you survived, so don't bring too much. If your place is on fire, or tsunami is coming, your life is the most important thing.

Also, if you have family and relatives, I would suggest to discuss ways of emergency communication. Nowadays, Facebook, Telecom Companies offer these services / finding missing people.

Hope it helps. Hope you don't have to use this, but by having this, you might feel better.

3/14/2011

Emergency Kit --- Do you have one ?




There are actually more.... another bag has underwear etc.... this is basic. Do you have these ?

I should probably make a list for all of you .... maybe you don't have earthquake, but this bag could be used for any emergency evacuation.

Transportation Chaos

Phew. I need to visit Kanagawa area.... original schedule for this afternoon. Checked all the possible transportation, but no way.
Even if I take several lines to get there, probably not on time.... need to cancel , I guess. Waiting for further information.

13:50- 17:20 my area

In my area, that will be blackout time. mmm. I probably need to store water in bath tab, for toilet use. fridge. veggies will be all right, just cover some meet with refrigerant.

Electric Power / Blackouts by Rotation

Phew. again. We will be lack of power from tomorrow. During weekends, it was all right, but from tomorrow, much more power consumption is expected and considering all the power needs, Tokyo Electric Power Company announced blackout plan by rotation.

Trains are announcing their reduced number of operations....

3/13/2011

Tomorrow is Monday

Phew. It's still unbelievable... those images look like Hollywood movies. Can't be real.... You would think.

Well, I had tomato pasta for dinner. Not a big thing, but trying to make and eat something simple and easy with little energy.

mmmmm. I do not think it helps to get depressed.... however, it's shocking really. From tomorrow, I will show you pics again including my emergency kit and what kind of food I have in there....

For now, I'd like to pray for people in Tohoku region. Monday and weekday will start tomorrow again. There are lots to do....

I will update the status of what I see around me. I had lunch @ Cafe Zinc today. They say " Friday, the night of the earthquake, we had many people who stopped by.... on the way back to their home.... they were trying to get home on foot. Usually we close around 10 pm, but on Friday, we were open till midnight. "