So, that’s the water gone. I hope it comes back at some stage, but I’m glad I filled a few bottles beforehand. I’m using buckets of river water to flush the toilet, and at least there are plenty of mandarins around the Arida area, which I’ve been putting into a blender and drinking. It’s one of the most famous places in Japan for mandarins, so I’m lucky. The ones that were in the back of the truck are almost all gone now, so I’ve spent the day stocking up again. One reason for this, apart from the obvious need for food is that Alex is on his way down – right now! We’ve been messaging throughout the day, and here’s what he’s said. I won’t bother including my own messages because you’ve heard it all before.

Hey.
Keeping this as short as possible.
I’m on my way down there now. I’ll call you when I get close barring cell phones still work.
If you don’t hear from me by morning, meet me at the Hirogawa Beach Train Station. I’ll be in the parking lot in the white SUV.
The Hanshin Highway and the Chuo Highway are only open for military traffic, so I’m taking the local roads.
I’ve already gotten turned around twice by roads closed and once just by getting lost.
Osaka was insane. Car accidents everywhere. Abandoned cars. Fires.
Can’t say for sure but it looked like the SDF was leaving. Retreating.
Radio doesn’t work. Only a repeating message to stay inside. Navi isn’t working. Won’t lock a signal.
I’m in a town called Kada right now. Nobody here. Empty.
I did load up on supplies from the bar, so no worries.
Listen man, I know it’s tough but you gotta trust me – you didn’t do anything wrong.
I’ve seen what’s happening first hand. These people change. They’re not normal.
I know you didn’t have a choice.
Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Oh shit
Screaming
Lots of it
Gotta go

You can make of that what you want, but I think I’ve been pretty lucky to be where I’ve been. Couple that email with the most recent news from Japan about radioactive boar, it’s quite a terrifying place to be. Having said that, I am glad to hear that people are still alive up there, and even though the human aspect of the article is obviously censored, it’s good to see that some people are at least still working and doing research into the problems afflicting the country. It’s easy for me to forget that there are actually still a lot of other uninfected (not sick? unaffected? Not sure what to call it), and I do hope that the ones that are okay can safely escape to the country while this all dies down.

Wakayama
This is the kind of area I’ve been in, so it’s a pretty stark contrast.
Alex will be staying at my apartment (don’t think the landlord will mind at the stage), so it’ll be really good to have someone to talk to. We haven’t actually spent that much time together before, but I stumbled upon his bar up in Osaka a while back, and we got chatting. Not that I have a lot of chances to speak Japanese these days, but his ability will definitely be useful for picking the nuances of the news if we ever get more of it. It’s difficult to express how excited I am to see him again. Even though I, thankfully, still have the internet, it’s really lonely wandering being here on my own.

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