I’ve had quite a few questions about what’s happening over here, and I’m sorry to disappoint, but I really don’t know much more than anyone reading this. I actually didn’t even hear about it until I checked Facebook in the morning, and it’s mostly articles in English discussing the travel ban. All the ones in Japanese provide the same sort of information, and the general consensus is that it’ll last 2-3 days tops. I wasn’t planning on leaving the country this week, so it doesn’t really affect me directly.
From talking to people at work, the other teachers don’t seem too concerned. A few people I talked to actually thought it was mostly about cracking down on immigration, like they are trying to do in some other countries. It could be, but the ban includes all direct contact with the outside, and according to one newspaper there are ships full of imported goods waiting for the all clear to enter Japan. That doesn’t really seem like an immigration crackdown, but it’s really hard to get concrete information.
I’ll admit, the first thing I did when I read about it was bike the 30 minutes to the supermarket in the next town over and stock up on a bit of food and water. There’s no supermarket in Hirogawa where I live, so I have to go to Yuasa. It wasn’t too crazy there, but there were definitely more people than usual and it was a little strange seeing so many gaps in the shelves. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the supermarkets always seem so efficient over here and as soon as you take something off the shelf, someone replaces it. People were pretty orderly, but were definitely buying more than usual.
I’ll probably go down to the supermarket after work and get a little more, just in case, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I’ve got a good 30kgs of rice, bottled water and a couple of dozen beers, so that should get me through for a little while. After the Christchurch earthquake, I made sure to stock up on some other bits and pieces, like lighters, a good torch, batteries and that kind of stuff. Not that I’ll need them, but I just mention it to make mum feel a little better about it all.
Work has been alright lately. The classes get easier and easier as I get used to teaching. When I first started I probably spent way too much time on planning, but this year I can just wing it. The most tiring thing is running around with the kids at lunch time. I don’t know what it’s like in the city, but these rural kids just never tire out. There’s always someone trying to climb me or pushing for a piggy back ride. It’s all good though. It just means I’m a bit sweaty when I get to class.
Speaking of class, I should probably hit the road. Can’t sit on this veranda reading the news all day. Best get out into the real world and see what’s happening.