Tuesday, March 22, 2011

031111: A Test Of Faith

March 11, 2011

Friday - favorite day of the week.
All went well, until 2:46 pm.

I was talking to Jen on the IP phone, put her on speaker,
when it started to shake.. My threshold duration for earthquake
is 5 seconds, after that I would panic. Aime was just laughing
about me being jumpy at first, but when the earthquake dint stop,
and even got stronger, people stood up and looked at eachother.

Confused, I saw my Indian colleague grab a helmet 
and motioned to hide under his table. I did the same thing, so did Aime.
Then I remembered about what happened to New Zealand a few weeks
ago and got horrified by the thought of our building collapsing.
I made a quick and wrong decision, I know stairs are not advisable to be at during
earthquakes, but I had the urgency to run.

So I called Aime and ran as fast as we could (building still shaking).
From 6F, it took forever to reach the ground floor. It was horrible seeing
the walls cracked as we ran.. :(

I went out first, and got back inside when I noticed Aime was not behind me.
Relieved to have seen her, we went out and were to horrified to go back.
With no jackets, we stayed shivering outside.

Then some staff of the bank guided us to go to the parking lot.
I wouldve gone up to get my bag and jacket, but the stairs was too crowded.
In the parking lot, some ppl were listening to news broadcasts on their mobile phones.
I sat down and things started to sink in. Plus we could not reach Jen.
Then we saw our Japanese friends, it felt good to see their friendly and comforting faces.
One handed me his jacket, one helped us contact Jen. But a few minutes later,
it shook again. And watching the buildings shake like they would collapse at any moment,
made me drag Aime to the other side of the street, not minding so much about the cars. 
And we leaned on a wall....

Then we were directed to go to a near evacuation area.
I forgot how long we stayed there, but when we were told it was okay to go back
to the office, it was around 4pm. And surprisingly, sunny.

I called up my mom, and it brought me to tears.
The office was a mess. The VC monitor fell, swivel chairs were everywhere,
some peeled off paints from the ceiling scattered on the floor.

We grabbed our bags and stormed out.
To see the dark sky outside was a shock.
The sudden shift somewhat foreboded a bad omen.

And it wasnt just bad, it was devastating.
Seeing that deadly tsunami wipe out houses, cars, boats and lives of the
people in Northeastern Japan was too much to bear.
An oil refinery was caught up in a very huge fire, there's wreckage
everywhere -- Japan was in a havoc.

And I, in a foreign country of which language is a big barrier,
did as much as I could to stay calm. But the aftershocks were still strong,
and we were in the 4f of our apartment building. And Jen still hasnt come home.
Hours later, friends came over and took us to their place, where we could
rest a bit and monitor news. At 12 midnight, Jen reached home, 
came back to fetch her, went back to our friends' place.
The television's earthquake alarm really freaked us out every time.
Everybody was so ready to run.

We took turns, some slept, some stayed up.
I did not sleep till morning.
Never had enough sleep ever since.

The next working day, went to the office, tried to concentrate to
do my tasks. But there were tremors every now and then.
A few days after, no foreign vendors were seen around.

cracks on the walls

there's more
taken on a working day (im sorry forgot to rotate)

Earthquake, tsunami, fire, nuclear crisis.
Discussions about the apocalypse are everywhere, connecting recent disasters and chaos. 
And I can not help but get scared; maybe they are wrong, but what if they turn out
to be right? No matter where we are, in a just a few seconds, 
just seconds, life can disappear.

Things man can never stop..proof of how vulnerable we all are.
Too sad to realize, that it is only in these times, that we remember
to kneel down and call for divine help..

In the end, everything is a matter of faith..
May God bless us all.. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mobile's Aged Photos

I dont have a mobile phone here in Japan.
I used to have one, the one the client provided for 24/7 support engineers.
But I handed it over last year to Aime so I lost all the rights.

Last week I was scanning pics folder and found these photos Ive taken
long back, and was surprised they are still there.
Take a look :)

a pigeon or a crow: who's the culprit?
One morning I was waiting for the elevator when I noticed a foul odor.
I was alone so I figured it's not me (of course!). :P
When I reached my seat i saw something black on my hand and smelled it.
That was bad. Uh-oh so was my hair.
Then I saw that bird poop on my bag. 
Lucky me - of all people! 
Good thing elephants don't fly.

and she knew i always love lavenders
Leina, my Japanese girl friend who lent me her yukata
on my first hanabi (fireworks watching), stopped by and gave me
a decor she made from lavender. I forgot she loves lavenders too.
"I picked those from my little garden", I rmbr her telling me that.
One of the fresh and friendly faces Ive met.

there's something good about cafeterias

I often go to our client's head office. 
It's 30 minutes away from our workplace.
Individualism, one sad thing I noticed here.
I dont have negative impressions; 
ppl here value friendship and companionship so much that
you'll doubt refusing invitations and offers.
Problem is, the more they care about relationships, the
more they do not give a damn to things they're not involved of.
And it's supposed to be a good thing (maybe i just cudnt forget the pinoy
"meddling" attitude). But seeing blank faces in the train, makes me
feel so alone. To cut this melodramatic wails, i used to go the
head office's cafeteria, grab a cup of american coffee and sit
on a couch where i could clearly see the outside view.
And then, CHADANG!!! back to the bubbly mood. :D

looks like i just killed a cat
Never, ever, hand me some breakables when I am intoxicated.
Or never let me hold any, rather.
Last August, before going back to Philippines, I spent most of the
days having farewell parties with office mates and friends.
(Who enjoys farewells by the way??!)
One night after clubbing, went home a little bit tipsy, and thirsty.
Went to the sink, washed the last glass we had, a cracked one.
Was still talking to my girl friends when the glass broke in my hands,
and blood came gushing.. and it would not stop.. even after we put bandage.
A lot of skin tissues were scraped, congratulations to me :P