The パンコーナー and Nuclear Meltdown

Woah woah woah!! Calm yourselves with all the questions about nuclear meltdown and the destruction of the entire country of Japan people! No, I am not starving, throwing up, growing another eyeball, or ready to flee back to the States. I know that many of you at home are worried for Kyle and my safety, as is evident through the dozens of emails I received earlier today. I will try my best to give you an overall understanding of the people in the HIROSAKI area as well as the rest of the country.

After talking to many of the Japanese teachers in my office, and some of the Japanese friends I play futsal with, in Hirosaki and most of Aomori, things seem to be perfectly safe. There is an overwhelming sense of ‘discomfort’ and ‘sadness’ felt by almost everyone I spoke to today. Although NONE of ‘fear’ or ‘confusion’. They are trying to ‘get back to work as normal’ as much as they can, but find it impossible to ignore the climbing death toll and continuing aftershocks. If you look at my map from the previous post, we are quite far from ALL the major spots where things are happening. As far as nuclear meltdown is concerned… the information you are receiving at home is pretty accurate, but the state of panic people are in is far from where we are. The people at the Fukushima plant are most worried about not knowing WHAT to expect. Yes, there is a possibility of a meltdown of the plant, but if that were to happen, it would be FAR from where I live right now. In fact, the US just issued a release asking all US citizens within a 50km radius to evacuate as a ‘safety precaution’ 50km, which is only 31 miles surrounding the plant. If it were a bigger risk, the US would have told its citizens to all flee. So, if that happens, then you can worry about us! But until then, don’t worry yourselves into a panic, things are pretty fine, or as fine as they can be during a time like this. If you find yourself beginning to panic, please… take a moment… take a deep breath… and look at this picture:

Everything will be just fine…

As far as the food and gas supply… yesterday, Kyle, Kevin, George and I left our cozy apartment in a pointless search for bread and milk (Kevin and George are visiting Couch Surfers). We had some high hopes that maybe… JUST MAYBE we could get our hands on some!! But, if there wasn’t any bread and milk, then we’d just have to get some Doritos, since apparently Japanese people don’t eat them since they are ALWAYS on the shelves. But alas, what did we find when reaching the パンコーナー (pan konah/bread corner)? This…

This is the 'bread corner' or bread section at Super Asahi Drug which is a dry good store here in Hirosaki. There is still no bread, milk, ramen, or meat to be found... But no worries, we got ramen at our house for DAYS:)

With the food and gas supply worries, Kyle and I got mentioned in the Columbian, the Vancouver Washington local newspaper, at home, and my picture was used in the article. CLICK HERE  to read the mini-article from the newspaper about some Vancouver locals in Japan.

Although there is little we can do about what food we can buy at the stores, there are still many little restaurants open. Some, of course are closed in order to help conserve elctricity, but a few precious gems like ‘Baba’ our favorite udon place, was ready and open for business…

(From left to right) George, Kyle & Kevin. These guys are Couch Surfers who came to visit a day before the quake hit. Their plan was to go borading with us and canyoneering down south after. Their plans were obviously changed.

George and Kevin have been such awesome Couch Surfer guests while staying at our place. They have just been so easy going about what has been happening, and although their hopes and dreams of shredding in Aomori were a bit thwarted, they have been amazingly cool about the change of plans to stay with us for a few days, to now a week:) George is a grad student at the prestigious University of Tokyo, and is a bio-engineer. Kevin is a video game programmer and writes awesome video games. It has been really great to listen to them argue about the ‘validity of science’ right from our living room:) AND enjoy zombie TV shows. Hopefully tonight we will do some karaoke, we’ll see…

As far ast the weather, it has been snowing like crazy here. Our hearts are all really being broken right now as we think about the many people sleeping in gyms, schools, and without their homes, during this really harsh weather. Pray people get adequate warmth through blankets, coats, meals and clothing. Please don’t forget about them in the midst of the nuclear news.

This is just outside the school doors of Minami Koko where I work. It is puking snow right now! It is really really cold.

And finally, about electricity. Yes, many parts of the country are scheduled to have rolling blackouts in order to conserve energy. But, have no fear people! We got candles and a cozy little room to hangout in at home. Our school is trying to help with saving energy by only heating the staff room, and turning the notch down a couple degrees. The lights in classrooms that face the sun during the day will be turned off, and the hot water will not be running. Tomorrow, during the school day we will have a blackout from 9AM-12PM and I will be without a computer… *sigh* So, it looks like finishing Harry Potter 1 is on the schedule for tomorrow!

We love you guys! Stay tuned for more updates! And again, remember, if you feel a need to panic, just look at the kitty:)


One thought on “The パンコーナー and Nuclear Meltdown

  1. Great post you guys! Thanks for keeping us posted and for letting us know about what your reality over there is. It does help calm the worrying. 🙂
    Just take care of each other and continue to stay positive.
    Love you guys!

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