I Think I'm Turning Japanese
I had some fitful sleep last night. First there was the earthquake, then the tsunami, and now the media going nuts over the "nuclear meltdown." I know the media in general has a flair for the dramatic, so I did some research, more for my own peace of mind than anything else, about how serious the nuclear disaster up north is. 
For now, it seems like things are under control, and Japan's nuclear power plants were built with the worst-case scenarios in mind. It seems there is no chance a Chernobyl-like disaster will occur. It also seems like the worst is over.

However, that last paragraph is one frought with "seems." No one can give definite answers of how safe the country is or how soon everything will be fixed. On the one hand, the government and the power plant workers don't want to be to too reassuring, giving everyone a false sense of security. So they are saying little to nothing at all. On the other hand, the media, particularly foreign media, wants the world to know that OH MY GOD THERE IS A CRISIS AND THE END IS NEAR!, probably with the intention to both keep everyone on alert but more importantly to sell more papers. The mass-hysteria that this is creating undoubtedly has everyone on edge, myself included. Considering I will have a string of visitors coming starting this Saturday, I want to assure them that if they come to Kobe, we are safe, but I also don't want anyone feeling like they're risking their life for a simple vacation.

Last night I was having weird dreams that I was about to die in really weird ways: falling off the Bay Bridge in San Francisco while riding my bike; trying to swim across the bay and almost drowning; running towards the beach and then tripping and hitting my head. All of these things had me waking up and feeling unsettled. What's more, I slept with Skype on, so when Dan woke up he started talking to me about a potential nuclear disaster, which, in my groggy/sleepy/confused/half-dreaming state, made me all the more paranoid. I even had a weird dream about a girl I went to school with over 20 years ago that I never even talked to trying to save my life, which made me wake up yet again to stalk Facebook to see if she was still alive and well (she was). All these strange things added to the nagging feeling in the back of my head since Friday that maybe I would be safer and less stressed out if I just left Japan altogether.

But I'm not a quitter! At least not in this instance. Sure, I've quit many things in my life: piano lessons (my teacher was horrific and I hated being told when and what to play), terrible jobs (no, it is NOT okay for children to throw desks at you and administrators turning a blind eye to it), sad relationships... But I don't think I've ever quit anything because I was scared. (Please remind me of otherwise if I am mistaken.) So until the US Embassy sends me a message telling me to go home, I think I am fine here in Kobe. Dan asked me a very important question: "Is your experience in Japan worth your life?" Honestly? No, it's not. But even though it's a but scary to be here at this moment in time, I don't think my life is seriously in danger. Trust me, if I did, there is nowhere else I'd rather be than home, safe.

Japan is a resilient country. As a current resident, I am determined to reflect that resilence. So I'm staying put.
Heather Holladay
3/21/2011 01:43:18 am

Good girl! :)


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