March 27, 2011

Sunday - Cloudy and cold, and snow.

Today is my 14th anniversary in Japan. 14 years ago I arrived in Japan and I haven’t been quite normal since. I didn’t plan to stay as long as I have, and I may just be spending the rest of my life here. I’m not really sure how I feel about it to be honest. Some days, I’m fine, other days I can’t believe that I’m still here!

Anyway, your update. I slept in this morning. F stayed in bed quite late too, which was nice for a change. I didn’t really feel like I was keeping him from getting on with his day.

When I got up, we had some Royal Milk Tea and then we went out for lunch. We just went to our local sushi restaurant, but it was rather nice.

After lunch, we went and did a bit of shopping. First we tried to go and book tickets for my trip in May, but we couldn’t do it in person, only on-line or by phone. We then went suit shopping for F. We have a wedding to go to next month and F needs a new suit. We went to one place and the suit he tried on was okay, but then we went to another place and they didn’t have a suit in the right size, so the sales clerk ordered one for him. In Japan, men are supposed to wear plain black suits for weddings and funerals. It’s rather a pain as then you are stuck with a suit you can’t wear that often. We’ll go and look at it next week.

We came home and then F and I tried to book my tickets on line using my free points. It was frustrating. It was like ANA hid the redeeming points button somewhere. I wasn’t impressed at all. Finally, F called ANA and booked them by phone. Whew! Done. I have enough points for the trip. Yippee!

We were at home for a while but went out for dinner a bit later. We went shopping at a drugstore first. Well, actually, we had to go to THREE drugstores to get what I needed. Unbelievable! However, the first drugstore did have toilet paper, so we got a package of that. The third drugstore did have what I wanted, but we sneaked into the store 5 minutes before it closed. We don’t know the store well, so we were almost running all over the place looking!

We had dinner tonight in Edoichi, the yakiniku buffet. It wasn’t bad really. F had lots of sushi, despite having some for lunch. We had a big mixture of stuff and it was quite good. It’s quite rare for restaurants to improve, but this one really did.

We came home via the grocery store. The shop was empty of bread, cheese and yogurt again. There was some butter tonight. I feel a bit like I’m having to worry about rations and such, the way my mother did during the Second World War.

At home tonight, we watched the last hour or so of Jumper then a bit of stuff that Fumihiko picked . I think it was the F1 from Australia actually. There was a lot of Japanese crap that I objected to. It’s funny that he never notices how awful it is unless I start to put on my earphones to listen to something else!

I watched Veronica Mars later on , and now I’m watching The Phantom of the Opera. It’s got some great actors in it. I’m a big fan of Ciaran Hinds and he’s one of the Opera managers, so he gets to sing in this one, and he’s not bad. I love Minnie Driver as Carlotta too! She’s a hoot.

That’s it for me. A fairly good day actually. Tomorrow I’m not sure what I’ll get up to! It depends if I get moving enough to go out or if I stay home! Night.


Orchid64 said...

I had the exact thought just this morning (before getting up and reading your blog post) that this was starting to feel a bit like WWII rationing with all of the shortages. I'm sure it was worse then, but it is starting to feel a bit like we're under some sort of siege when you have to wonder if you're going to be able to find the basics of life today, tomorrow, or whenever. Toilet paper, milk, plain yogurt, and bottled water continue to be in sporadic supply. Well, no bottled water is around Tokyo at all now.

I am wondering if this is going to keep foreigners from coming here for quite some time, as well as continue to usher the exodus that we've experienced so far. I'm also wondering if those who have left will come back with the fears and blackouts. I know you don't have the same concerns (radiation or blackouts), but you do have the shortages. These are bearable but noticeable quality of life issues. It undermines the sense of being in a "first world" country when you have to worry about not being able to buy toilet paper.

Helen said...

I'm not sure if the recent troubles will keep people away for a long time or not. So much of the country wasn't affected by the earthquake. Where we live in Tohoku is physically fine, although you are right, we have lots of shortages at the moment. The nuclear situation will have more of an impact I think.

A lot of the people that I know that have left have children. I can't really blame people for wanting to make sure their children are safe. I think erring on the side of caution makes a lot of sense personally.

We may start blackouts next month. I'm not sure exactly what is going to happen. I doubt if they know exactly what's going to happen!

Thanks for your comments.