Monday, March 14, 2011

Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor Earthquake, nor Tsunami

The Intercultural, a blog from a British academic living and working in Japan shows why we buy milk and toiletpaper every times it snows.   She also illustrates how critical mail delivery is for creating a sense of normality after kaos.

As a foreigner with no local Japanese friends, I need to go out every day and see what`s going on. (I have local foreign friends but they have even less idea than me what is going on. Facebook has been very useful, the British embassy website pretty useless, BBC twitter very interesting.) At 11am at the supermarket there was controlled panic buying with queues all the way to the back of the shop. People seemed to be buying a lot of rice and eggs, and everyone was picking up a bag of toilet paper too. But when I went back in there 30 minutes later the queues were gone and there was still plenty of food. Milk is rationed to 1,000ml per person but there was plenty of it. The Japanese don`t drink much milk. There were salads, sushi, tofu, fried fish and plenty of vegetables. So either they have had some deliveries or they still had some stock which they put on the shelves after I had visited last night. By noon however, there was no loo roll, rice, eggs, yoghurts or water. But there was still plenty of beer. I went to several other shops and there is no bread to be had. There are a lot of men and kids about so I guess they have taken the day off. Many of the men have backpacks and are standing in shops holding lists or on their mobiles receiving instructions. The roads are very crowded and the side streets are packed with people on bikes. It`s a bit like a national holiday, only everyone`s carrying toilet roll.

Mitaka station has some trains running but all the shops there are closed including the bakery and .... Starbucks! So this is really a national emergency now. However Mr Donuts had all their donut varieties in stock. The video store was open. So was the bank and there was no queue for the cash machines. Some restaurants were closed, others open. The bike shop was open so I got my bike tyres pumped to the max for a quick getaway. (Prime Minister Kan was right, this IS just like the Second World War. The French are evacuating. Brits and Americans have been advised to stay put.) Back at home, the rubbish was collected and the postman delivered yet another academic journal.   

1 comment:

self employed courier said...

These are really dangerous for human being in the world.