Don't tell anyone in our village. We are making preparations to get out of dodge. We don't want to. We like it here, love it here, but we don't trust the news regarding the nuclear plant, and we, unlike many of the people around us, have many choices. Friends in the furthest reaches of Japan, relatives in several places in the US, business plans and ideas up the wazoo. One for every location we might end up.
If it were not for Mona, we might not even be thinking of evacuating, but as they say "shiouganai"
The hardest part about leaving will be that if we do, it will be impossible to come back. We will have lost any of the trust and connection we had with the neighbors.
Oh, and there is the little issue of being stupid and not getting Mona a passport earlier. The US embassy is issuing emergency passports now, that can be granted within the day you apply, but to apply for it we need documents from the Japanese government that take up to three weeks to obtain
I guess that is OK because I have a daily withdrawl limit on my bank account, and it will take longer to clean out.
Of course, now we are just talking about it. We have lots of scenarios running around in our heads. We don't want to leave, but we want to be prepared. Then again, maybe I subconsciously want to leave more than I know, as I basically ruined a good part of my relasionship with the community by effectively quitting the volunteer fire brigade today.
The fire brigade guys all lay around all day in an "official" room, where they mostly just sleep and eat instant ramen. I prefer to spend my time with my family and the other children of the village. I very vocally questioned the logic in having 5 people sitting around a campfire at the intersection when 2 would be fine - especially since there were two policemen making rounds every 20 minutes.
I very vocally questioned their attitude that they don't need to tell me their plans, because I should be sitting there, basically masturbating my ego, in the fire brigade room while there is so much else to do. i.e. help people. i.e. cheer people up. i.e. be with one's family
Today was the third time I missed my "duty". As stupid as it sounds, since the duty was stupid, I feel very resentful because the reason I missed my duty is that no one tells me ahead of time. In order to be a part of the duty (sitting on my ass by a fire in the middle of the night), I have to sit on my ass in the middle of the day in a room just one-hundred meters from my wife and daughter. I chose to sit with my family, as well as help carry boxes of food and play with the kids. I told them where I was, I told them to let me know if there is any unexpected work to be done (though I was outside carrying many boxes, and helping old ladies climb the stairs, etc. while most of the fire squad where napping or texting)
So I quit.
Tonight is my last tour of duty. I go sit on my ass by a bon fire at 5am.
It is liberating. If I don'r evacuate, this year we do less rice. This year no more fire brigade. This year I can actually help people.
There is a woman here, our best friend in the village, one who has helped me out many times with customers despite speaking no english, and being a terrible driver, she is wonderful with people. Don't tell her, but we always think of her on the dull side (I will delete this later). Today it took me 30 minutes to help her get logged in to a social network website she uses. Five minutes was explaining the caps-lock key. But... In situations like this, she shines. She is one of the best people persons I have ever known. She just doesn't know how to use her powers.
Why am I writing about this? Because she alone was doing more good by helping people in the shelter than all of us fire-brigade guys sitting by a fire. She is my new hero, despite all the bad things I have thought or maybe said about her IQ. Today when I quit the fire department, I went to her and told her she was my new boss. With her EQ, empathy, and awareness to people's needs, and Tomoe and my brains, we could make a real difference, help a lot more people.
I just can't sit around by a fire anymore smoking (second hand) and listening to talk about prostitute's tits.
So I quit.