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03

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Leave or Stay?

Since the mega earthquake caused merciless damage to the Tohoku area a week ago, I've been receiving daily e-mail messages from the graduate school of the U.S.-based university where I'm currently seeking a Master's degree. The administrative office is working hard to distribute the latest information letting non Japanese-speaking students know about the situation as frequently as possible. A couple of days ago, the email said that an international SOS chartered flight would be arranged by the U.S. government in a few days for those who wish to evacuate form Japan, and updates regarding this SOS flight keeps coming in since then. I started guessing that they were overreacting to the situation and making things bigger than they really are. I'm aware of the fact, I believe, that a chartered flight is simply giving "an opportunity" or "convenience" to leave Japan, not "requiring" residents of Japan to evacuate as soon as possible. I have absolutely no idea about how many of the graduate students will sign up for the flight, but if I was asked for an opinion by any of my peers who have not yet decided whether they'd suspend their study and go home or somewhere else, I would say "Keep calm and carry on. Things will be settled."

stay_calm__carry_on.jpg 


The aftermath of the mega earthquake is now getting more serious on possible power shortage or total "blackout" in the Kanto area. The area where I live will undergo three-hour daily electric outage for few more days or much longer. It is obvious to anybody that the power shortage issue affects every aspect of our daily life including transportation, medical services, education, and most significantly, economics. Considering fluctuating power supply in the eastern part of Japan, I admit that it's a good idea to stay away from affected areas for the time being. Actually, I know some Japanese who already have got out of Tokyo to be sheltered somewhere (seem to be) safer. I won't buy this idea, though. My home is the safest place on earth for me. Yes! I'm a hardcore "homebody" to begin with ;-)

evacuate.jpg



Talking about homes, it is known that cats feel attached to their homes, not to their owners whereas dogs are totally opposite. Have you ever seen this kind of picture? Cats love to tightly push themselves into a small pot feeling content and secure. It's called "Nekonabe - A cat in a pot." That's exactly how I feel towards my home (and my bed!). I'm being honest here, people!  I was pretty much like a girl version of  "Linus" in Snoopy who feels secure surrounded by his own blanket. Those who know me in person are not gonna believe it, but it's true. Am I a person with too much anxiety? Yeah, maybe, kind of.   

猫鍋_1~1 


At the time of the earthquake, I was on the verge of staying overnight on campus with more than 200 people in a large auditorium, but luckily, managed to go back home. While taking a taxi whose meter was running nonstop for more than three hours, I realized how I had been attached to my home and how desperate I could be to bring myself home at the time of emergency. Then it's not hard for me to imagine how eagerly the people who evacuated from their destroyed homes in Tohoku want to return where they used to spend their lives. That's also the case with the U.S. citizens and my peers of the graduate school who'd like to take the chartered flight to leave Japan. Stay or leave? That's also a question of where you define as "your home" and how attached you feel towards it. Where is your home? How attached do you feel towards it?

love-your-home.jpg 



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Aya

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