Saturday, March 19, 2011

Back safely in Japan

After spending three unscheduled nights in Los Angeles, my missus and I managed to return safely to Japan...

We flew out of LA on the early morning hours of 15th...

Must have slept like a log in the 12-hour trans-pacific flight to Haneda International Airport…

Connected to our flight to Takamatsu, and we touched home-base in the late morning of 16th…

After clearing the luggage and a quick simple lunch at home, yours truly reported for work at around 1:00 pm...

A series of three meetings were slated for that afternoon...

The jet lag and the fatigue had the better of me, as I saw myself just sitting in the meeting rooms, fighting the sleepiness and trying very hard to concentrate on the issues...

I probably looked useless to the attendees as I did not mutter a word in the first two meetings...

And being away from the office for two weeks, work naturally piled up...

And piled up it was... woah...

Plus, the immediate priority was and continues to be the handling of the Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake...

Japanese students we sent overseas enquire if it is safe to return, and if so, through what route...

International students have their parents telling them to return home to avoid the radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant... (I'd like to say 'But we are about 700 kilometers from the epicentre'.)

The death toll has shot over 10,000 and considering the number of unaccounted people, this figure is certain to become much bigger in days to come…

Meanwhile the number of aftershocks big and small amounted to hundreds, and there are no signs of them tapering off…

At this point, the most worrying issue no doubt is the potential meltdown of the nuclear power plants… if the radiation comes to Tokyo area, oh boy...

Besides the fatigue and the jetlag, yours truly suffered a bad case of constipation…

It had been over two days and that thing just wouldn’t come out…

Since my teens, I have always had this habit of settling the ‘big’ business every morning before breakfast…

The last time I experienced this was perhaps over 20 years ago…

This time, I must have spent about one hour in total, sitting on the ‘throne’ trying and trying…

It came to a point when I could not even sit straight due to that lump down there…

Thank god, I managed to squeeze that thing out eventually…

My suweeto haato had a good laugh...

We suspect it was a result of a combination of factors…

The different diet, the fatigue, the jetlag, the anxiety related to the quake, the cramped seat in the economy class, the lack of sufficient water intake are probably some of the factors…

On a personal level, am certainly glad that today is Saturday... oh how I love Saturdays...

My neighbor K, who is instrumental in 'persuading' me to install the woodstove, called me up to go wood cutting together...

Today, he oversaw my first tree cutting expedition...

It was an old oak tree with a trunk thicker than my waist...

Under his supervision, I successfully felled my first tree...

He then showed me a natural spring in the neighborhood...

Our area is dry and I was pleasantly surprised to see how clear the water was...

I think we will come back with some water containers to collect the natural spring water as I would like to see how the water taste like...

Beside the spring was a basket filled with several types of oranges...

The sign read, 'Feel free to take all you want... they taste quite good'...

I could see that the skins looked a bit wrinkled...

I took one, peeled off the skin, and popped a slice or two into my mouth...

Hmmm, not too bad, I thought to myself as I went back for another one...

After this, my missus and I went to collect wood from two other locations in the vicinity...

But man, all these wood-cutting and wood-collecting activities leave me with almost no time for our potager...

I really need to start preparing the vegetable beds for the spring season...