Japan got struck by a massive earthquake Friday afternoon.
Here in Sapporo 3 huge shakes in 40 minutes, but nothing fell or damaged here in the city. On the coast at Hakodate, Kushiro etc there were 2 meter high tsunamis.
We are all ok.
I was in the classroom - with a student from Miyage - when our coffe cups started shaking, coats started swinging and everything rattled...and rattled and rattled. We wedged open the door. Then she went home to check that her sister and mother were ok. They were.
Yujiro and Okaasan ok. Cats too - a bit over-excited.
Our home computer has lots its internet connection - so we are using the classroom computer once a day. Hence no blogging.
(strangely SKYPE is ok). Cell phones and landlines are only working for local calls.
Okaasan is fine...but..of course...she sits there watching the endless earthquake and tsunami coverage on TV and thinks that IT JUST HAPPENED. Constantly! Saturday lunchtime she said to us: "there's been an earthquake hasn't there?.
I was worried that she would get depressed with the constant news instead of her usual diet of mindlessly happy Tv shows. But now I realize she is thinking it's just happened a lot of the time....so we give her cheerful chat about how lucky Hokkaido is to escape the horrors down south.
I am 50!
So strange to celebrate this while on TV are terrible scenes.....but I opened great presents of drink and chocolate and magazines from friends and students. In the middle of it of course I realized that this year there is nothing from Dad or Jane. This is sad and strange. My first birthday with nothing from them.
But the earthquake and tsunamis are taking our attention constaantly.
Everyone I know...I think...is ok....but I fear hearing of someone a few days later...
So. 50th birthday. No photographs yet cos I can't upload them onto this laptop.
We skied in the morning.
Late afternoon Yujiro told me to come with him, ordinary clothes ok....bring your camera.
We walked from the house...strangely NOT in the direction of the subway station and downtown restaurants.
Parked between the taxi company and the bike shop...was...a beautiful WHITE LIMOUSINE!!!!
The driver stepped out and bowed. It was my birthday surprise!!!
Got whisked away in its padded comfort with rose petals on the floor, Moet and Chandon on ice, jazz video, eats, 50 red roses.......to Otaru for nightviews, a ski teachers' party to give everyone rides in the limo, to Susukino where I stood up thru the sunroof and screamed "Happy Birthday to ME!!" at everyone on the pavements, and finally home...where I had to decide exactly how to find enough pots for 50 roses.
An amazing, stupid, wonderful birthdy present.
3 years ago I took him to India. And he planned this for me: limo/dinner/champagne/roses.
It just about makes up for looking after his mother! ;->>>