Monday, March 14, 2011

Earthquake Wakes the Blog

Sometimes, it takes extraordinary circumstances to make you realize the simple things in life. In this case, it took an earthquake to make me realize that I have been neglecting my blog!

To be precise, I'm talking about the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Japan on Friday, 11th March. The damage caused by the earthquake itself was minimal compared to the ensuing tsunami which washed away everything in its path and left a trail of destruction. The images on TV were heartbreaking and alarming. As this was the footage being seen by everyone back home in Malaysia, naturally they were all worried. It took some reassuring calls and multiple Facebook updates to let everyone know that I was alright, safe in sound in distant Tokyo.

Smoke behind the Fuji TV building in Odaiba right after the quake & stand-still traffic in Tokyo on the walk home

Tokyo was not completely spared the wrath of nature as we had large tremors as well. No tsunami ensued but the quake meant that the trains would be out of service till safe operation could be resumed. I had to walk home from my office to my dorm and it took almost 6 hours in the cold with dress shoes. The trip was made bearable with a few stops in between, including one at Outback Shinagawa for dinner, and the company of a precious few buddies. Many in the office had no choice but to spend the night at the office and head home the next morning since they lived far away.

The weekend was spent mostly indoors watching the news for updates and monitoring the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that is experiencing cooling system failures. I also decided to cook, which along with running, is what I like to do when I'm bored, lazy, free or all of the above. We finally get to how I decided to rekindle my blog:

Monday morning, I got ready for work and walked to the JR Tsurumi station, which was shut down, and then to the Keikyu Tsurumi station, which had 300m lines of people waiting. I then called the office and was told it's OK if I did not come in since the train service was intermittent and there was supposed to be rolling blackouts all over the place. So I came back home, had my breakfast and went back to sleep. Went for a run, which I like to do when I'm bored, and cooked, which I also like to do when I'm bored, and was surfing the net when I remembered my blog!

I thought this would be an appropriate story to write, however ordinary, as this is one weekend I will never forget. Though I was spared the major wrath of the quake and was far from mortal danger, I was reminded of how fragile life can be, and how man stands no chance in the face of nature. I must say that some things were put back into perspective for me and I can say that it feels great to be alive.

Now lets hope I can add blogging to my list of things to do when bored, along with cooking and running!

1 comment:

  1. We all learnt something from the Tsunami/Earthquake in Japan. Japan's strength, values and composure during the disaster is simply amazing. Just relieved that you are safe... Extraordinary experience you had! One that we will probably talk about for years!