We ended up spending quite a lot of time down by the river. Spring has started, and although there is still a bit of a nip to the air, we decided to take a little swim in the river after hot dogs. With no running water, I guess it’s important to wash off bit of the grime from time to time. With all that is happening in the country, none of us were bothered about not having togs (swimwear, sorry that’s New Zealand English).

Risa, the couple’s daughter was saying she wanted to go for a swim, and so one by one we stripped down and started splashing about in the water. Ayako, the mother seems to have loosened up a bit recently, and despite her somewhat cold demeanor around us, she didn’t seem phased about taking off her clothes. Alex and I did our best not to stare at her too much, but it wasn’t easy.

As we were coming back, it suddenly started to get darker. Taro pointed up at the sky and we were surprised to see the moon directly in front of the sun. I’d never seen that happen before, and it was a little strange seeing the sun looking like a doughnut in the sky.

img_3426After taking a picture, I noticed I finally had a reply from my friend in Osaka. He said it’s hard to know what the situation is like because most people are afaid to go outside. He has been holed up in his apartment for the last few days, but last night he took his bicycle to where his friend is staying. He didn’t see anyone on the streets, but he did pass an ambulance in the middle of the street.

The driver’s door had been flung open and there was nobody inside. He made sure to pass by it quickly, and seems to be safe for the meantime. After not hearing about life in Osaka for so long, it’s good to get an update and hear that people are still finding ways to stay out of harm’s way. I suggested he come down to Wakayama as well, but he’s not sure. The new place that he is staying at is a karaoke building, and it seems okay for the moment.

img_3419

They’ve blocked up the only entrance well, and there is a lot of instant food in the building. It’s mostly English teachers that are staying there, but the different karaoke boxes provide a good place to sleep and they seem to be keeping each other safe. I can imagine it must be boring though. Safety is one thing, but spending all of your time in one building must really start to be uncomfortable. He mentioned that he’d just seen the sun and said that he found it a bit spooky.

He didn’t have much more to say, but he’ll try to talk to some of the other people a little more over the next few days, and see if anyone has more information.

I’ll tell you what I’m going to tell him because I know he’ll be reading this. Life at the school is good. We don’t have much of the instant food left, other than a few packets of curry, but we have the river, which gives us fish from time to time and the water seems fine for drinking. We can even head down to the hot spring when we feel like it. There are still a few houses to look in, but overall the area seems reasonably safe. The family we’re staying with are nice. Their initial suspicion has worn off a little, and in the next day or two we’ll be making a mission to Shirahama to catch up with Taro’s brother. Evenings are quiet here, but preferable to being on the run. We’ve got a few ideas about what to do next, so I’ll let you how those plans are shaping up tomorrow.

 

 

 

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