This morning I managed to smash another vending machine apart, which was about half full. There weren’t any windows under the station, so after we fetched our breakfast, and took it outside to eat. More CalorieMates, chips and fizzy drinks, which are better than nothing, but I could really do with something fresh. I think the last time we had fresh food must have been the barbecue with the fisherman in Shirahama. That feels like a long time ago…

It’s a nice day and despite everything, I do feel better after some food and a reasonably good sleep. We couldn’t let our guard down completely, but being behind two locked doors was a lot more comfortable than trying to sleep in the car or some broken down house on the hill next to the infected full aftermath of the tsunami. I don’t think I’ve slept like that since the power station. It was also nice to be able to cuddle up to Ayako.

Risa seems in better form today, too. She was so quiet for a while there, but she’s been pretty chatty today. She’s excited about seeing Alex again and the possibility of the helicopter. She’s also asked if I can keep helping her with her drawing and English once things have settled down. I glanced over at Ayako when she said that, and although I’m not very good at picking these kinds of things up, Ayako did seem to be waiting for my answer, and relieved when I told her I would love to. We haven’t really talked much about what we’ll do after everything settles down. It’s been such a physical and emotional rollercoaster ride that I guess we haven’t had much of a chance to talk about the future. I have been thinking about asking them if they want to come back to New Zealand with me. I’m just looking for the right moment. With the country and the family desolated, I would feel bad about abandoning them here in what’s life of Japan.

Okay, I just got a message from the castle guy, asking us to come back. He apologised for the briskness of his refusal yesterday, but told me the SDF were there and were looking for us. He still wanted all of us to go, but thought that he would give us the heads up that they were there, so that we could at least leave together. Risa looked excited and the tension in Ayako’s face seemed to withdraw a little. We hopped into the car and took off towards the castles.

Ayako’s driving us there as I write the last of this and we’ve just pulling up at the Iga castle. I can see the SDF in front of us between the inner and outer walls. They’ve changed out of their uniforms, but they look well. I can’t see Alex, but I best go and talk to them and see how they’re doing. This could well be the end of time in this country.

 

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