Friday, March 18, 2011
The Big Earthquake, Aftershocks and the Fear of Radiation!
March 10th Shaken Awake by a Big Earthquake
Sleeping peacefully I felt my bed move from side to side. I thought “ahh just another little earthquake” I decided to sleep through it. But then it got more violent and it shook me awake. I jumped over to Ash’s side of the room because my bed is right next to my windows. Ash was ok at first but when it wouldn’t stop she started to panic a little. We hugged in a corner til it was over. It was almost comical though because the apartment we live in is a little older so the walls were moving from side to side as well. In the end we were fine but felt quite dizzy. We slept more and then when we got hungry we went to the konbini to try to get some food but it was all out. Luckily there was a supermarket near by so we were able to buy food just fine.
The earthquake was pretty big but it wasn’t too bad. The main part that was bad for most people was that now the gas is stopped and the trains are stopped. In other areas near the water, the tsunami hit. In THOSE places it was pretty bad but here in downtown Tokyo it was ok.
We still don’t have internet in our house yet so ash was looking on her facebook and everyone was sending us well wishes. (thankyou everyone who did ) Though honestly I think it hit New Zealand quite a lot harder. Some comments such as “is there any news on how the Johnny’s boys doing?” were a bit =_= I think but w/e
Mom called a little later at night and we were able to chat for a good hour or so. She was glad to hear we were both ok. I also got a mail back from Ai telling me he’s ok too only that he is stuck in Shinjuku and is unable to come home. So everyone is safe so its all good.
March 13th A Hair Weekend
The earthquake’s aftershocks can be felt throughout the day here and there but the main part of it is over. The main problems at the moment is that the food that comes in the konbini are coming slower because they are checking it for radiation I think. I believe a reactor is damaged possibly? But they are working on fixing it by having scheduled black-outs in certain areas at a time. My area, Shibuya, and Shinjuku are unaffected because I think the main tv/broadcasting places are located here. The most the aftermath of the earthquake is effecting my life is not having much selection at the konbini (but still having food unlike some more residential only places), some places are closed earlier or closed and some trainlines aren’t running or running less frequently.
Its my birthday in about a week and I want my hair to be perfect so I woke up a bit early to dye my hair silver and went to ikebukuro to meet with Ai before he goes to Kyuushuu with Top Dandy on Monday. I arrived just on time but as suspected he was late… by about 2 hours. Some scouts talked to me here and there. They really made things easier by protecting me from the annoyance of nampas. As I guessed Ai fell asleep after he got home from work and woke up late.
I moved into a café for the last hour or so with 2 scouts. They bought me coffee and chatted with me about random things because their work is really slow and I had nothing else to do but wait. Ai came to pick me up around 9ish and we headed towards Sunshine road? He tried to take me to a highrise restaurant but due to the earthquake they all closed early. We starred out the window at the view for a while and then went off to a normal izakaya.
After we finished at the Izakaya we had to think of what to do til morning. We had to think fast because the last trains were finishing soon. It would be fine to go to my place however my disc drive doesn’t work and my dvd player don’t have a tv to hook up to. + I don thave internet yet. We decided on going to a Manga Café where we shared photos online and talked about random things til morning. He had to go to meet with his company by 8 but since the station they are meeting is relatively close he delayed the time as much as possible before we went. I rode the Yamanote line in the opposite direction just so I can see him off.
After I came home and slept a bit. Then I went off with Ash to UR to get her hair done. Around 5 something Naoki calls saying its an emergency and he needed to use my flat iron. It was a bit troublesome but I rushed back home just for him to say 630 is fine. I sat around home til my phone rang and my mom talked me for a while til Naoki arrived.
He introduced me to his girlfriend. She was really nice. We then went to my place and he did his hair and we were talking about random things like the earthquake. Ash was still taking quite long at the salon so we decided to go grab something to eat.
By the time we were finished we went back and Ash was done doing her hair at home. We chilled drank a little. I fell asleep a some point because I had only about 2hrs of sleep at the time. It kinda hurt to be awake.
I awoke to ash screaming a tiny bit because Naoki unzipped her zipper collar and it pinche her neck skin. From that point on Naoki and Ash were teasing eachother a lot. It was very entertaining. Also Naoki’s English is very cute I think. When he read my mail from ash “he left his shit here; keitai and ipod” he said to her “sorry about my shitz” and about something else he said “Please be babysitting me?” We chilled with him til last train and then sent him off.. Im really having fun hanging with Naoki, he’s quite entertaining and funny. Too bad hes moving to Osaka in a month or so…
Chaos at the Bureau of Immigration
The big earthquake never really phased me to begin with, although the fact that the nuclear reactor is damaged and there is possible radiation problems is. I don’t know exactly what you people are seeing overseas but its definitely got my mom going crazy with scary mails and phone calls telling me to go home. I convinced her that going to Kansai is the best option because leaving to Canada is going to get very expensive and very difficult to do with the airports flooded with people trying to get out. Foreigners are reacting much more dramatically than the average japanese person. Some japanese have fled to their hometowns away from Tokyo but the bulk of the people are still here going about their everyday lives.
I went to the Bureau of Immigration in Shinagawa today to pick up my stamp for visa renewal. When I got to shinagawa, I was not surprised to see a line up all the way down the block for the bus to immigration office. I arrived at the office at 10am with already people snaking from the door all the way down the block. While waiting in line to buy the stamp, I watched the line get bigger and bigger til it wraped around the block and then crossed over to the next street. There were at least 1000 people lining up. By the time I got what I needed to get done, It was 330pm. I was basically standing in line for 5hrs and waiting in a chair for almost an hour.
Ai arrives back in Tokyo tonight. We wanted to see eachother but there was not enough time for him to go home and go to work on time. Originally he was going to go to Osaka with me but he says that everything should be ok to stay in Tokyo. I think because when he got back it looked all ok but I don’t know, by the time I really gets that bad everyone will be wanting to leave and it wont be very easy to leave then… Is what im thinking. Honestly ash and I are quite confused who to believe. The news here is possibly undermining the situation as to not cause panic, on the other hand news abroad is exaggerating things im sure freaking my mom out.
I had a 2 hour long phone call with my mom. She really wants to insist that I go home in anyway possible. I really don’t want to go home right now and I really can’t without loosing my visa unless I get a re-entry stamp which will be kind of difficult to get as EVERYONE is trying to get that now.
I really want this all to be over. Things are stressing me out quite a bit. I almost at 0 money because the beginning of the month of feb there were renovations so I missed work, after that I had to move right away and I had to miss more work on top of paying the deposit and buying things I need for my new place. Now with the earthquake I couldn’t go to work a few times and my workplace starting a new system of keeping some of your pay back (around 3 days worth) making it difficult.
Im confused and want all of this over. I understand why my mom is freaking out because im honestly the only thing she has left but at the same time my life is in Japan. My friends, my boyfriend, my way of living, my things are all here. I just picked up and moved my shit across the pacific 6months ago. I cant do that again now that almost all my things are new. Life was just starting to get good. I mean, I got an apartment now even closer to shibuya station, I got a boyfriend who cares about me very much, my wardrobe has finally been rebuilt all that’s left is to get a better job. Then a big earthquake happens and then a tsunami then a nuclear plant. Sorry if im sounding selfish but without fail whenever I get something good happen to me bad shit comes back 10fold to cut the time short. WELL FUCK U mr circumstance, you deserve a punch in the mouth, I refuse to leave Japan again/leave a lover behind just when my life is starting to make progress. I refuse to believe that I get a new apt, a new boyfriend just to have to ditch half my things and go back to that hell-hole of a country. Its not that I hate being Canadian, I just hate living in Canada.
Shibuya back to life? March 17th
Today I really wanted to sleep all the stress away and not even leave my house. My mom nagging me to come home, trying to decide who is best to listen to etc has made me more than ever want to close my eyes and wake up when its all over. But things have to be done such as getting one last round of laundry done and going to the bank to withdraw money to pay for rent.
On our way to the laundry mat, we went to a pharmacy to see if they sold potassium iodine. The little old man kinda chuckled and said he hasn’t heard anyone ask for that in over 50 years. He was very funny. His “irrashaimase” was “irrashaimashiiii~” So cute right? Haha Anyways after we put our laundry in, we met up with shoko and walked around sentagai. Seeing people around again made me feel a bit better. In sentagai today only the most hardcore gyaru/gyaruo were there. White blondes, silver hair, or if they had brown hair they were hella tanned. I saw at least 4 silver haired people. (not including myself)
After eating dinner at a pasta place shoko, ash and I went to sing karaoke. Its been a while since we sang karaoke. Its kinda natsukashii. Though Shibuya is back to life somewhat, everyone still wanted to go home early so we walked shoko to the station and then walked home.
Now im waiting for Ai to come to shibuya as I write this entry.
As I walked to shibuya station I noticed an American news crew filming outside of 109. I stopped to listen a bit then continue to head towards the station. When I got there I noticed that the gates were all closed so I figured he must be taking a taxi to the station. I waited a little around hachiko til I decided to head back towards 109 to find out what the news cast had to say. They noticed me watching and the camera man wanted to take a photo with me. This gave me an opportunity to talk to him about what he thinks is going on and so on. He told me that him and his crew were up at fukushima a little earlier and people from the evacuated areas have not be tested positive for radition. Also telling that the worst case scenario that the plant goes through a entire meltdown that radiation levels will not reach high enough to make people sick or die. Also at the moment radiation levels have returned to normal and that the highest it ever was, was the same as the day I met the professor who explained to me that at that time that the radiation levels are high but only about the same as that of being in an airplane.
Ai finally arrived at 109 and we walked towards my home. He was hungry so we decided to stop by the supermarket but instead we ended up at a bar that was open near by. I explained to him that while he was on his business trip my parents have been very noisy about making me go home and so on but that Tokyo seems to be safe right now.
We talked a little more and headed home where we just looked at a few pictures cuddled for a bit then he left on the first train to Shinjuku to go to work.
Shinjuku Radiating! Its the End of the World as we know it – NOT
The day started off with a phone call from my mom. I explained to her the things that were said by the news cast and though she didn’t believe me at first she seemed to have calmed down and we were able to even throw a few jokes here and there.
But then… a little later for some reason she called again and so did my father and they were noisier than ever about me going home and I fought with them for about 3hours refusing to go home. My parents think im being stubborn but I feel like I have every right to be. My life is here, my best friend is here, my boyfriend is here, my things and home is here. I cant just pick up and leave. Also I have a bit of a fear of loosing things just when I started to make process. Like everytime I ever liked anyone they were taken away from me via odd circumstances and end up disappearing out of my life. Well I’m not gonna let it happen again. My parents say I don’t mean going to Vancouver forever. Just til we think its safe for you to go back to Tokyo. Sounds reasonable right? Then again when will they think its safe? 1 week? 2 months? 3 years?? Who knows. I just got my visa renewed and im not about to go out of my way to get a re entry permit just because my parents are paranoid about radiation when obviously everything seems to be safe here in Tokyo.
My parents were blowing everything out of proportion and started speculating and thinking the worse case scenario for everything. And out of the heat of the argument they said some very ignorant things about Japan which I will not repeat here that got me quite offended since neither of them know ANYTHING about japanese culture. Though I don’t claim I everything in contrast but I know a lot more than they do, and all their thoughts are stereotypically western about it all.
Anyways frustrated, voice strained and tired I lost the motivation to go to work. Around then, our friend Shoko invited us out to drink in kabukicho at a host club. I said ahh why not? I guess that’s what host clubs are for aren’t they?
We went to club Gently, we sat down and were able to pick from the menu which boy we want to be seated with. Because its shokai they will keep changing but the one you pick will definitely sit with you at one point and a little longer than the others. There weren’t really any that really caught my eye so I just picked who I think had the most decent face which was shishimaru.
The hosts that rotated before shishimaru came didn’t interest me at all. I was almost looking past their shoulders to see if I can spot any cooler looking ones. I saw one from the side with orangey hair that I think might look cute but I wasn’t sure. The orange hair boy came eventually and introduced himself and he happened to be shishimaru. LOL Shishimaru’s promotion picture looked quite a bit different. In the promotion photo, he had dark brown hair that was kind of short but now its orange and longer. I think this hair cut suits him best but I think a lighter blonde or back to a dark color would suit him better. Being a bitch that’s pretty much the first things I said to him after having a shocked face on how pretty his face was. To be fair, I kinda only agreed to going to a host club cuz I was stressed out from my parents.
It was starting to come to the end of our shokai when we decided to stay longer because shoko’s original agreement with hikaru was that he pay for his shimei and she will only pay for the shokai. (total being 8000yen, shokai=2000yen shimei=6000yen) But I was a bit scared because I don’t have 8000yen to drop on the table so shoko asked shishi if he would pay for his shimei too, he agreed pretty quickly and ash picked one too.
We were moved to a better table and we continued to drink and drink and drink. The problem that we find out a bit later was that ash’s shimei was not heard fast enough and she was put on freetime by default. The host that was originally going to be with her couldn’t cover that and basically she was screwed. However another host swooped in and took care of it and the 3 of us drank all night til last. Shishimaru was really pleasant to talk to. But I think due to the fact I was kinda upset before drinking my drunkenness wasn’t showing on my face like it normally does so no one believe I was drunk so shishimaru kept making me down the shochu. But then I made him do the same. He surprised me during one of the dance showcases by kissing me on the lips very quickly 0_0. He DEF was NOT allowed to do that. We were going to go on after with these boys however they had dance practice and a meeting so we walked around kabukicho instead for a bit. (Shishimaru called to apologize once at 1am and again at 6am he said he wanted to make up for it sometime with dinner)
We then met 2 hosts from airgroup Tsubasa Fudo (Air Precious) and Issa Kamido (AAA AI$). To my surprise Issa spoke English very fluently. I found out that he was born and raised in USA til he was 15. He wanted to go home so he didn’t stick around. Tsubasa stuck around a little longer. He was really kind and nice. He seemed to have not mind when ash kept messing with his hair. (most host would get super pissed by it but he wasn’t) he wanted to stick around but he after with a customer and couldn’t.
There were no trains running yet so we decided to hit up a bar (bar Ace) of one of shoko’s friends. He said he will pay for the first drink. We drank and chatted with 2 other hosts from Air group; Nasca Kamiya (All-black) and Ryosei (All-white). We talked to them more on a normal feel because they aren’t working their main job just chilling out at their little bar that they run I think. Ryosei was talking to us first and talked about some random things. When he showed us the airgroup magazine and his little street snap, ash commented that the outfit looks good aside from dassai boots. He was shocked that she thought the boots were ugly and said theyre not right????? But I responded that they really are. He said but they costed 300000yen!! And we were like whut?! For boots like THAT??
He started to talk about the price of each of his clothing item and we were saying that hes kinda stupid because all of those things he bought can be found for 10x less the price or a higher well known name brand with better material for the same price. He was really shocked and wanted to challenge us to show him where he can get these said cheaper clothes.
A little later Nasca came to sit with us. His way of speaking I found a little harder to understand but it was also very pleasant to talk to him. He asked if I did my hair myself and I said I did. He was quite impressed and asked about Canada. On the topic of hair and traveling abroad he explained that his hair set costed 3000yen (which is a lot for hairset) and about travel with his company air. When we said that it was quite expensive, he said that the boys at his club there’s a big difference between the top earners and the beginners in the money they make. The top has to pay 3000yen but at the same time, they get to get their hair sets done faster and don’t have to wait whereas the newbies do. Vacations can cost quite a bit but the group wants to promote togetherness so they pay for their kouhais to make them able to go. They really take good care of their own.
Both of them were very very very refined and classy. I guess this is how its like to talk to a super host. I’ve been finding those who are already famous, high-up and rich tend to be either completely rotten to the core or genuinely nice people. Nasca and Ryosei are kind and beyond classy. I was mesmerized by their grace in the way the carry themselves. Its almost scary how high of a quality of a person they are at such a young age. I have seen this kind of person before but they have always been in their 50s and higher. This kind of refined quality is probably what makes them so good at what they do.
Nasca had to go to work from about 6 and Ryosei walked us out around 7/8ish. We took a taxi back and I slept nearly the whole day. What a fun night. I haven’t had this much for for quite awhile. It definitely helped me relax a little .