Sunday a quake struck the Tokyo area, but it was only a baby 5.0. Looking round my local shops today there is still no water available. A new change is that now there is also not even Coca-Cola which had been in supply up until last Friday. I ventured out to Omote-Sando yesterday and was heartened and impressed at the energy conservation efforts. The escalators are off. Over half of the lighting is also off everywhere. The passageways, the train stations, the restaurants, and even the shops are dimmed. No more flashing signs. For now, neon Tokyo is in indefinite hibernation.
Also yesterday, in what the government says will pose no major health risk:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Monday began releasing 10,000 tons of low-level radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant into the Pacific Ocean on Monday evening to help accelerate the process of bringing the crippled complex under control.
[From Tepco dumps toxic water into sea | The Japan Times Online]
First, some background. A few weeks ago I did something to my sciatic nerve which made it painful to sit or move or do much of anything. It was healing nicely, but still not quite good enough to engage in my usual routine of going to the gym. I had hoped to do so on Friday before my scheduled haircut at Toni & Guy in Omote-Sando. In any case, I decided against going to Gold’s. This turned out to be one of the most fortuitous injuries I’ve ever had. Without an injury I would have been on a train almost an hour away from home at 14:45 on 11MAR11. Alone and frightened with absolutely no way to get home, and without the lifeline of a phone call. I know that I would not have been able to handle it with the well-practiced brave and stoic resolution we’re seeing in the Japanese all around us. I fell apart enough lurching my way into the emergency area outside where I stood shaking almost as much as the quake.
This brings us to today. I’ve been vacillating between frantic worry and fatalistic resignation for days. It was 04:00 this morning and there was no sleep in the immediate outlook. Passing the time going through old photos, I noticed that it was self-delusion in thinking that my hair has not been going for quite some years. My increasingly long hair had been bugging me even before the thankfully missed appointment (which itself was postponed a few weeks). It goes without saying that frivolities like hairdresser visits would not be happening anytime in the foreseeable future. So, sitting here in the midst of the worst disaster of the century, I pulled out the clippers. I had to use a regular razor after the clippers to make sure it was even at least. In the mirror it looks almost human-like, but in the picture I took … Perhaps this is more self-delusion but I think I look better in person than digitally rendered. I certainly hope so. Though this is the absolute last time and place on this planet for vanity … the result is … frightening.