<March 22-March 30>
I am in Kobe to do collaborative research with my dear Friends Kaoru and Lil.
I also visited my mother. My father passed away a month ago.
I slept in pajamas for the first time since 3.11. (I had been sleeping in my clothes in case of further earthquakes in Tokyo.)
Here in Kansai (the second largest urban area in Japan which includes Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe), everything is normal. No aftershocks, no blackouts, no fear of radiation and no problem of public transportation, although I was stuck on the train from Kyoto to Kobe because of "Jinshin Jiko (= Accident with human body injured. Often a euphemism for suicide by diving into an oncoming train.).
March is the end of the fiscal year in Japan and many people have to face the reality of bankruptcy or being cut off. March is also the end of the period of entrance exams for higher education. You might have to study one more year to get into a good university, etc.
After being in Tokyo, a one hour delay did not make me feel much. But it made me realize that this disaster does not erase our existing problems, such as high unemployment, staggering economy, fear of bankruptcy, entrance exam problems, increasing percentage of depression, etc.
But, still I feel very different from being in Tokyo, and I feel different from people in Kansai who assume tomorrow is a similar day.
We have to get used to living in different realities in different places/occasions/times, and with different people.
To be continued….