Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reactions to the situation in Japan

Like most of you, I was horrified by recent events in Japan.
Japan has a strong place in my heart. I’ve always been attracted to Japanese culture and especially things like Manga. I decided to start learning the language 2 years ago, and I'm still learning (it's getting more difficult!).
I went to Japan last March (a year ago now), and had the best time of my life. The people are amazing, so friendly. If for one minute, me and Travel Buddy looked like we were lost, people would just run up to us and help.
I don’t actually know many people in Japan – I know a couple of people in Tokyo. The people I know are all fine, but they were very scared. They are now facing food shortages, afterquakes and just general uncertainty.
My heart also goes out to my Japanese friends in London. One of my friends didn’t hear from her family for 3 days after the quake. How awful must that be? And her brother lost his home – all his belongings – but he is okay, thank goodness.
I did a little drawing for the cause, directing people to the Red Cross appeal, and I’m contributing to a charity comic too. I donated to Red Cross but wish I could just go to Japan and take food to people.
I have been angered by a few things UK-related things though.
Firstly the news. Talk about scare-mongering. Yes, it is serious, but the emphasis is always on the worst case scenario, the shock and the negative. I watched events streaming for a day, and the bombardment of images was just too much. Explosions at the power plant over and over again. Psychologically, it’s too much – I can’t see what they are trying to achieve. It just makes my Japanese friends in London, worried about their families, even worse.
Secondly, is the reaction from some of my friends. One of my friends on Facebook did a running commentary on the day it all happened, treating it like a blockbuster movie. ‘Wow, this just happened’ etc. He was actually posting things on my Japanese friends’ pages, and he must have really upset them. 'Woah, this just blew up!' I think it got to the stage where he said ‘could be another big one soon, hold tight people’, that I deleted him off Facebook.
And now we have the ‘jokes’ emerging. One guy was telling jokes on Facebook last night about the whole situation, so I had to delete him. I already confronted him over something and he called me a 'baka gaijin' (stupid foreigner). Jesus, how would he feel if he was affected by this? If he lost his home and all his possessions? Was scared about radiation? Mind you, this is the same guy who has a ‘competition’ with another friend to rush to announce a death on Facebook, so I'm not surprised. What a scumball.

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