Wednesday, March 23, 2011

33 weeks and counting

Today is officially the 3rd day of spring. Another sunny day, and nice cool breeze. While I'm typing this entry from this netbook on the coach, my little baby keep kicking from within my womb, making this netbook wobbling on my lap (and I covered my tummy with a small cushion). My baby boy on the other hand, showing his collection of 'Go-Go' monster and Wall-e figurine on my side, while entertaining himself with Baby's Day Out movie.

It is indeed a beautiful day, and how I wish the tulips we've planted last year at the backyard has bloom by now. But still, the tulips are still young, and still budding. Perhaps another month or two, then I'll make an effort to share some pix of them.

I'm now 33 weeks, and reaching 70kg. And yet I'm less than 5ft in height. If I forced myself to count my BMI in this condition, I can say that I should be worried with my weight. How clumsy I felt, and how big I feel my tummy is now. It's getting easier for me to be exhausted, and having terrible body ache each evening. Perhaps the most reason of this incapabilities is I'm now a staying at home mother (SAHM). I used to be an active person, climbing stairs as my work room is situated at the top floor of the building, and parts of my job is to move from class to class, and finding information from teachers at teacher's room (which is situated at the floor level of the building) and meeting with the admin teachers at a different building on another level.

And talking about 33 weeks, as far as I know, I read, and I study, normally the EDD of a pregnancy is counted from the first day of last period in a normal menstrual's cycle. This assumes a woman ovulates and conceived exactly two weeks after the last menstrual period and carries the baby for 38 weeks. But since my menstrual cycle is not regular since I stopped taking the pills, three months before I know I'm pregnant, it's difficult to calculate the EDD. My gynae decide to determine my EDD after an assumed 12weeks ultra scan. And I know that when it comes to this EDD, the baby may comes earlier than the EDD, as during my experience with my first son. And there are possibilities that this pregnancy is older than 33 weeks.

But nonetheless, every pregnancy is different, and I do keep that in mind. In this pregnancy, I experienced quite some challenges. Now I do know the feeling of morning sickness, which was quite unbearable during the first trimester, and somehow, that sickness occurs again, most of the time during this third trimester, but not as bad as I had earlier, plus with annoying heartburn during bedtime, body aches (particularly at my lower back) and breathlessness (perhaps because I'm not so fit), which were not a big matter during my first pregnancy on 2008. Yet I know, after the baby is delivered, I will miss all of these test of endurances, on how far a woman could manage all the pain in the world, only to protect the child of her own.

--to be continued--

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lesson Learnt From Japan

11th March 2011, a date that wrote another tragic event in today's calendar. It's the day when the world was shocked with a horrible news of one of the largest 8.9 earthquake recorded in the history, happened at Japan, which has caused a massive tsunami at region of Sendai, and sacrificed thousand of lives. In addition, those events have put Japan in a horrible risk of a massive nuclear leakage, when one of its power plant's surface suffered from damage, and forced about 50 workers to fight their life to stay near the area to keep the damage from destructing.

Watching the BBC, CNN, news that live from the affected area, it was (and still is) pretty clear that the devastations did create a great terror to Japanese. (and to the world) The videos of huge waves crashed the land, swept away houses, plantations, cars, and even humans were really heartbreaking. Seeing the survivors cried, and hugged each other for comforts, really remind us how lucky we are, living in a peaceful and blessed country.

We never can exactly predict, what will happen in the future. Even for a country that is well-known for their ultimate preparations to face any wrath of mother nature, couldn't help but to somehow surrender their fate to God's plan. Here comes the concept of believing, we have to believe that no matter what we did, what plan we do, we can never deny the fact that if God's Will, things will still happen. But still, nonetheless, we were taught to never give-up no matter what happened. We always urged to never losing hope, and always pushing ourselves to stand again every time we fall.

In life, we couldn't run from the fact that we will face different kind of challenges. Some are mistakes from our own fault, which supposed to teach us not to repeat the same mistakes again. Some are beyond our limitations, such as natural disasters or natural disease, which supposed to teach us to be grateful and accepting the fate faithfully, and at the same time never losing hope, and always looking at the bright side of everything. Being a human, it's normal if at times when things went wrong, we couldn't help but feeling so devastated, as if the world has ended. But at the same time, we should keep in mind that everything happens have their own reason, that yet for us to discover.

I've read this compilation of tweets from our friends in Japan, and reading those tweets, there's a lot for us to learn. How helpful they are to each other during this disaster, willing to share the burden to ease each other discomfort. And how a small act does really help. There's no tweet of people being selfish I read, although some people may consider that there are bunches of Japanese is not so friendly, their gestures during crisis are enough to portray their true kind and helpful self.

Please find here the attachment I've copy from a link posted by a friend (currently working at New Zealand), and the original links are HERE. I can guarantee most of us will be moved and touched by the way these Japanese faced the current crisis in their country. I'm so inspired with their determination to build again everything that has fall, and how other Japanese that live far from affected area support their government in their own discreet way. Yes, we should learn from them. "Gambatte!" pronounced as 'ghahm-bah-tay', a Japanese word that actually has no exact meaning in English, but still can be translated as "Fight On!' or 'Work harder!' or 'Don't give up!' really speaks their current spirit. To our Japanese friends, and friends that staying in Japan (for works or further studies, or living the culture) I pray for your safety, so do the rest of the world. GAMBATTE!


Tweets from Japan (English Version)

Here are tweets from Japan amid of the earth quake crisis (translation by @vida_es_bella, otherwise noted).

* ディズニーランドでの出来事


* At Tokyo Disneyland

They distributed sweets that are part of their merchandise. High school girls with heavy makeup took away more candies than they would possibly eat and that raised my eyebrows. Later, I saw those girls giving the candies to kids at evacuation areas. Families with kids had limited mobility and couldn't get to where the candies were distributed. Go girls!


snacks at shops were offered @ Tokyo Disneyland. High school girls helped distribution to families with kids.

* 国連からのメッセージ

国連からのコメント「日本は今まで世界中に援助をしてきた援助大国だ。今回は国連が全力で日本を援助する。」 に感動した。良い事をしたら戻ってくるのです。これがいい例なのです

* Message from the UN

I was so moved by the statement issued by the UN Secretary General, saying, "Japan is one of the most generous and strongest benefactors, coming to the assistance of those in need the world over. In that spirit, the United Nations stands by the people of Japan and we will do anything and everything we can at this very difficult time." This is a perfect example of doing good to others. They will do the same to you, when you most need their help.

[English by]

UN Ban Ki-moon says "Japan is one of the most generous and strongest benefactors coming to the assistance of those in need the world over. In their spirits, the United Nations stands by the people of Japan, we will do anything and everything we can at this very difficult time."

* 渋滞した交差点での出来事


* At a jammed crossing

I was driving home after the quakes. Streets were extremely jammed and at many crossings only one car could cross the street per green light. At a spaghetti crossing, all traffic was paralyzed for more than 5 min. All drivers, I encountered, waiting to cross streets were calm, giving way to others. All thru my 10 hr driving, I didn't hear any honking except those showing gratitude to others. Of course this travel was scary but also heart warming. This experience made me like Japan all the more.

[by Ms. Ishiwatari]

when only one car could pass in the time the traffic light was blue,

everyone conceded to eachother, and drove safely and happily.

I was really moved by the scenery.

During the worst traffic jam, there weren't a single craction made by anyone, except for the craction meaning "thank you".

It was a terrifing time, but at the same time, very warmful- japan is a great country

* 揺れている最中でも・・・


[by Ms. Arakawa]

Ground had been shaking so hard and it difficult to even walk, but there is a brave person who went to the door and open it to keep our way out. Chandeliers and lights on the ceiling could fall on him anytime.

* バス停で・・・

バスが全然来ない中、@saiso が、バス停の前にある薬局でカイロを買ってきて、並んで待ってる人みんなに配った!

* At a bus stop...

While waiting for a bus almost eternally, @saiso went into a drugstore in front of the bus stop, bought a bunch of hand warmers and handed them to those waiting for a bus!

* ディズニーシーにて


[by Ms. Arakawa]

My daughter had stayed in Disney Sea for one night and just came back safe! She said cast had been taking care of her smiling all the time so she was so relieved. Plus they provide her foods, beverage, protections against cold, and even some confectioneries! I was so touched by what they'd done to her. Thank you so much!

* 日本人の良さを再認識


[by Ms. Arakawa]

This experience taught us a renewed recognition of what we had and regained its real spirits. I didn't see any crimes but those who helped each other. All were willing to do their duty gentlemanly. I had been felt that Japanese got cold attitude in a way but today I knew that they regain their bond. It made me cry...I was moved.

* タイムラインに感動


[by Ms. Arakawa]

I was impressed to see the time line on Twitter. There were so many positive phrases to make victims smile. Hope everyone regained their big smile soon. Ppl having a hard time for this disaster, hang on. We all are supporting you guys.

* 段ボールに感動


* Homeless People


While I was tired of waiting at the station, homeless people gave us their cardboards against cold. We're always passing them by, though.

[by Ms. Arakawa]

Transport facilities were dead and I was so tired waiting so long. Then, a homeless guy gave me a cardboard saying "use this, it can warm you up". I used to pass homeless people by even when they were begging... Although what he did to me was such a sweet stuff.

* 外国人から見た日本人


[by Ms. Arakawa]

I heard that some foreigners were impressed to see these:In the super market Japanese picked up some products which is fallen to the floor and put them back to the display cabinet, or kept in line and purchased neatly. Or.. in crowded train, an old guy gave his seat to pregnant woman and other nice activities what Japanese done. I believed those story and their reaction was true.

* メディアの動きについて


* On communication

The communication has been far better than what we experienced after the earthquake in Kobe. We have been sharing and spreading info via Twitter, UST, etc., and the mass media has been in synch with the info sharing on the Internet. I can feel that we are all making our best, conscious efforts, taking into action what we have learned from our regrettable experience in the Kobe disaster.

[by Ms. Yokoyama]

How the mass medias work

The quickness of using Twitter and/or Ustream to share the information of the earthquake this time is just so fast and amazing. And the quality of it is much higher than the time when the Great Hanshin Earthquake happened in 1995. People are trying to put their knowledge that they learned from the painful experience in the past to help other people this time. This is amazing.

* ツイッターに感動

それにしても、電話もメールも繋がらなかった中でのTwitterの強さには感動した。 171より役に立ったんじゃないだろうか。 否定的な意見も多いけど、垂れ流されたRTのほとんどはきっと誰かの心を支えたと俺は思います。 必要不必要は選ぶ側で決めればいいだけ。

* So grateful to Twitter

So grateful to the dependability of Twitter when landline and cellphone communications were cut off. Perhaps more helpful than dialing 171, the emergency communication platform offered by NTT telecommunication company. Some people are criticizing irresponsible tweets, but I'm sure lots of people in the affected areas felt supported by RTs. It's up to followers what to believe and what not.

[by Yokoyama-san]

Twitter, the impressive

I could not use phone and text message, but Twitter was just working. I believe it was much more useful than 171 (the specially installed telephone number to contact people). Some people say negative opinion about the Twitter, but I believe many RT supported someone's heart.

* 絵師さん


[by Ms. Yokoyama]


Many artists are paiting and drawing to encourage people this time. Everybody is trying to do something they can do.

* BBCの報道


[by Keiko-san]

*A BBC Report

So touched. I'm going to cry. ->BBC commends Japan big time. The worst disaster struck the country that was most well prepared. Its strength and that of its government are being tested. There were casualties, but other countries in the world probably could not have made such right moves. Japanese people are culturally capable of restraining their emotions.

* 父親の行動


* My father

I told my father what I saw in the news, that Chubu Electric Power, the company supplying power to the central part of Japan, was now supplying power to the Kanto area, to avoid shortage in Kanto, where Tokyo metropolitan area is. He didn't say a thing. Stood up, walked around the house and pulled out power plugs of appliances we weren't using. Normally, he doesn't care a thing about energy conservation and leaves TVs and lights on even when he's not using them. His silent action touched my heart.

[by Ms. Yokoyama]

My father's action

My father, the man who usually leaves the lights, TV and heatings on, took plugs out in the house when I told him that the electric power company of our area decided to transmit electricity to the other company in the area of the earthquake happened. I am impressed by his action.

* 整列する日本人

日本人すごい!!こんな時にも山手線ホームできれいに整列してる …涙。有楽町駅を上から眺む。

* At the station

Look! People are forming lines so orderly, waiting for a train on the Yamanote Line, the ring train circling the center of Tokyo. Proud to be Japanese. Looking down at Yuraku-cho Station (near Tokyo Station).

* パン屋


* Bakery

In the middle of the night, I was walking home from college. A lady at a bakery was giving out bread. She kept her bakery open till late hours and was doing what she could do to help others. I was so touched. Tokyo is still not a bad place to live! Such a heart-warming scene.

* 日本ってすごい


* Proud of Japan

I feel proud being Japanese. Everyone, either in the public or private sector, is trying to help each other so sincerely. I've heard truck drivers are offering help to transport needed goods to the affected areas. I've even heard yakuza mafias are volunteering to direct the traffic in Tohoku. I had been losing pride in this country recently, but I was wrong. Japan is such a great country with great people. I have been amazed by the goodwill of the Japanese people. Let us keep our spirit high and keep up the good work.

* twitterすごい


[by Keiko-san]

*Amazing Twitter

People on Twitter tweeting information and such are so coordinated, and that's been very helpful. Everyone's so kind! At a time like this, that kinda touches my heart. These days I've been feeling that people don't talk to their neighbors and the society is cold, but that wasn't true.

* ドイツ人の友達


[by Mr. M.I.]

*German friend

My German friend was at Shibuya when the earth quake happened. He panicked but was helped by a Japanese person. He was surprised and touched by everyone's behavior and how they walked out of buildings calmly to do what they had to do as if they were trained armies.

* スーパーでの出来事

スーパーで無事買物出来ましたヽ(´o`; でもお客さんのほとんどが他の人の事を考えて必要最低限しか買わない感じだったのが感動しました(涙)

* At a supermarket

I was able to do necessary grocery shopping after the quake. I was moved when I saw most people showed consideration for others by NOT buying more than what they absolutely need for the time being. Their act of conscience brought tears to my eyes.

* 御殿場で


[by Mari-san]

At Gotenba,

Actually, this is Great.

Yesterday, in Gotenba city, there was no signal working, but every driver yielded each other, and the neighbors gave a hand signals at the intersection.

That prevented a mess and I was so moved.

I drove 9 hours, but there was no driver overtook others.

Everybody yielded each other.

* 「みんな」


[by Mr. M.I.]

* Everybody

I talked to a cab driver, a station master, and an elderly lady. They all couldn't go home and were really tired, but showed no sign of stress in our conversations. They actually showed concern for me. I'm touched by everyone looking out for one another by realizing that "everyone is having a hard time." This is the part of Japanese culture that I want to inherit and treasure.

[by ショーンさん]

I talked with a taxi driver, a station employee, and an old woman. Everyone had to work till late and although they were all dead tired, they seem to not get irritated in the slightest bit, and their manners and wordings were very polite, and I was the one getting comforted instead. I like how every person thinks of the word "everyone" from the statement "Everyone is going through hard times", as an obvious thing, and this touched me. This is one culture that I would like to inherit by heart, as an Japanese.

[by Mari-san]

I talked with a taxi driver and a station staff and a woman passing by.

Everybody was tired because they needed to work really long time,

But every one of them was calm, polite and carling.

“This is a tough time to all of us”

There was a sense of unite.

I was so moved with it and I’d like to carry on the torch.

* 日本の強さ


[by Mr. M.I.]

* The strength of Japan

Suntory unlocked their vending machine for free drinks and Softbank unlocked their Wi-Fi for people to use. Foreign countries are offering help as they are touched by everyone trying their best. Compared to the relief effort of the Kobe earth quake when Japan hesitated to receive foreign aid and deploy the Self-Defence Force, we are a lot better and stronger. Everyone let's do this... ganbarou.

[by Mari-san]

Suntory ditched fee of their coin-operated vending machine.

Softbank ditched fee of their Wi-Fi spots.

Everybody carries on what they can do, and people from comes to helps us.

Japan is now stronger than the time we had the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

We can do it, folks!

* 朝礼


[by Mr. M.I.]

* Morning announcements

Employees gathered for morning announcements and this was said... "Whatever happens, we are in a position of responsibility. Let's not show anxiety and welcome our customers with confidence to make them feel safe." I was a bit moved. Let's do this. Store is opening!

[by ショーンさん]

At today's morning assembly, my boss said "No matter what happens to Japan now, do not make worried faces and do not forget the hospitality to your customers and make them feel comfortable, no matter what." I was kind of touched by this. I guess I'll work harder. The store is now open!!

[by Mari-san]

At the morning meeting, one of the stuff said

“Do not take on an uneasy look.

Why don’t we bring comfort and relief to the guest with our hospitality?”

I’m so moved.

Time to open the door.

Let’s make the best of it!

* 井上さん

井上雄彦さんがものすごい勢いで笑顔のイラストをいっぱいあげてて感動する。励ましとか勇気とかメッセージって、こういうことなんだなーと思う。 RT@inouetake Smile42.

[by ショーンさん]

The author of the world wide famous manga "Slam Dunk", Takehiko Inoue is drawing many illustrations with broad smiles on them, and I found this very touching. I really think that messages of bravery and cheering up are something like this.

[by Mari-san]

Mr. Takehiko Inoue is uploading tons of the pictures of smiles.

I’m so moved.

This is what encouragement and courage means.

* 人のぬくもり


[by Mr. M.I.]

* People's warmth

Yesterday at Kamakura, a ricksha worker was directing traffic as the traffic light was completely out. Nearby residents were helping lift a car that was stuck in a mechanical parking lot due to the lack of electricity. People's warmth really touched me here.

[by Mari-san]

Yesterday in Kamakura, all the signals were not working.

The drivers of Jinrikisha gave hand sings to the passengers.

Neighbors helped to pull out the cars that were trapped inside of multistory parking-lot because of the blackout.

I was so moved the goodness of the human being.

* 学び


[by Mari-san]

There are so many tweets to share the wisdom of what people learnt from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake here.

You may think it is nothing special, but I was moved to be able to re-realize that it is human being’s nature to learn and to think.

* ローマから


[by Mr. M.I.]

*From Rome

Friends at Rome emailed me to say that they are moved by Japanese people who are calmly dealing with this tense situation. They really respect our actions, but are really worried for us as well.

[by ショーンさん]

A friend of mine who lives in Rome sent me an email. Apparently the people in Rome were watching the news and were very surprised and touched by how the Japanese were able to react to this catastrophic situation calmly, and with respect to them are extremely worried about them also.

[by Mari-san]

Email from Rome.

People of Rome are moved by the way we face this tough situation with philosophy.

They develop a feeling of respect, and they are very worried about us.

* 声をかけること

昨日、裏の家の高1になるお兄ちゃんに感動した。 家に1人で居たらしく、地震後すぐ自転車で飛び出し近所をひと回り。 【大丈夫ですか―――!?】と道路に逃げてきた人達にひたすら声掛けてた。あの時間には老人や母子しか居なかったから、声掛けてくれただけでもホッとしたよ。 ありがとう。

* Showing that you care

This 10th grade boy in my neighbor did a wonderful thing. He was home alone when the earthquake hit. When the shock subsided, he went out on his bike and visited his neighbors asking if they were okay. The quake hit early afternoon on Friday, when most men were at work, away from home and only women and elderly were home. Thanks, kid. Your act of kindness and attention helped me and many others calm down.

* 助け合い


* Helping out

[by ショーンさん]

A couple of my security guard friends were doing night time volunteering in Machida to Sasgamioono, so I helped them out. Despite the age difference, the people there who were basically strangers to one another were helping each other out, and it was definitely reassuring for me. I was kind of touched and I had to cry a little in the corner of the bathroom.

[by Mr. M.I.]

I joined some of my security guard friends who were volunteering between Machida and Sagami-Oono. It was really encouraging to see people of all ages, all strangers helping each other out. When I went to the bathroom, I couldn't help but cry.

[by Mari-san]

Some of my friends who are security guards volunteered their services as a watch between Machida and Sagamiono.

I went there to help them.

There was a lot of encouraging support.

People of all ages helped each other even though they were strangers.

I was so moved, cried a bit at the bathroom.

* バイクでよければ


* If you can bear a motorbike ride...

I was really moved. A senior colleague of mine at my part-time workplace held up a sign saying "If you can bear a motorbike ride, I will give you a ride home," at a train station when train service was suspended. He gave a ride to a steeplejack returning to Tokorozawa, Saitama. I so admire his act of conscience and kindness. First time in my life I so felt strongly that I want to be of service to others.

* 乗り合い

浦和美園からタクシー使えると思ったのが甘かった…30分歩いてたら知らない人が車に乗せてくれた(つд;*) 人間の優しさに感動。ありがとうございました。

* Given a ride home

I naively thought I could find a cab from Urawa Misono station back home. No way. I had to walk. After half an hour of walk, this kind, total stranger gave me a ride home. I was so moved to actually experience how kind a person can be, even to a stranger. Thank you so much!!!

* 開放


* Keeping the door open

After all the news about trains suspending service, I was determined to walk home. I was heading west on Koshu Kaido Avenue, one of the major streets in Tokyo. There was an office building along the way, which kept its door open even around 9 at night. Who seemed to be an employee of that company was speaking aloud to those of us who had to walk long distance home, that their office was offering a space to rest and its restrooms were available. I was so moved and almost cried. Actually, I wasn't able to cry last night because I was very tense. But now, recalling their kindness, my eyes fill up with ears.

* コンビニ


* At a convenience store

Most stores were closed during blackout. But one Seven Eleven store remained open. They lit their shelves with candles. Their cash registers weren't working, so one clerk read out the price list and another calculated the total with a calculator. The third clerk was holding a flashlight for the other two. There were two teams of three clerks working like that to keep the operation. I was so grateful to them.

* 避難所


[by Keiko-san]

*On the way to the evaculation center

My oldest daughter told me that on her way to the Yokohama evacuation center, she was talking to people she didn't know, and people were sharing with each other the information about its location. She was touched that she experienced the kindness of people whom she normally thought were cold. I re-acknowledged the unity in Japanese people in times of emergency. There is still hope in Japan.

* 呼びかけ


* Offering help

I walked hours from the city to return home. I saw just so many places along the way, whether offices or restaurants, making their spaces and restrooms available to those walking long distances home. Some guys from a corporate building were speaking aloud to the walkers, "The train resumed the service!" "We have space for you to rest!!" They really touched my heart and I almost cried. Seriously. This whole experience renewed my confidence in the Japanese people.

* ホームにて


* On a platform

I'm twittering from the platform of Oedo Line heading for Hikari Gaoka. The platform is overcrowded. Actually, many can't even get onto the platform and are waiting outside the ticket gate. But there is order. We are forming perfect lines. There is no partition rope but we leave room for people to walk through. Everyone is following instructions given by station staff. There is absolute order and calmness here, almost surreal in this situation. I am amazed by these people's mental strength.

* 駅員さん

終夜運転のメトロの駅員に、大変ですねって声かけたら、笑顔で、 こんな時ですから!だって。捨てたもんじゃないね、感動した。

* A station employee

Tokyo Metro suspended its operation after the quake for safety reasons and resumed operation later in the day. The Metro extended its hours of operation and operated throughout the night. I thanked one of the station employees and he replied with a smile saying, "It's our duty and we are proud to serve when our services are most needed!" THANK YOU. YOU TOUCHED MY HEART.

* おっちゃん


My husband spent 4 hours walking home yesterday. When he was about to give up of nervousness and tiredness at around Akabane, he met a old man in the streets, and he was shouting "Everyone really is working hard in this cold! Here, have some hot coffee!" and was giving out cups of coffee to every person possible. Apparently he was able to come back because of his words. He already told me this story about 5 times so he must have been really touched. Old man, thank you so much.

[by Mr. M.I.]

* Free coffee

My husband walked for 4 hours to come back home. He was feeling weak at Akabane and this man offered free coffee saying "It's pretty cold huh? Warm up with this hot coffee!" Thanks to the him, my husband regained the strength to keep walking. It must have really touched him because he's been repeating the story 5 times. Thank you to the man passing out free coffee.

[by Mari-san]

Yesterday, my hubby came home on foot and it took 4 hours.

He almost gave up coming home when he was around Akabane.

He met a man who was offering a hot coffee to cheer for the passing by.

“It is really tough to walk a long way such a cold day. Please do have some hot coffee!”

He could make it because of his cheer.

He told me this story 5 times now.

He must be really, really happy.

I’d like to thank that man from the bottom of my heart.

* 献血の列


[by Mari-san]

We are strong!

I passed by Nanba, Osaka and saw the people waiting in long lines to donate blood.

I saw the people making line without any personal greed.

So moved.

Everyone living in the suffered areas please keep it up!

We are thinking of you.

* 節電営業


[by Mari-san]

I visited the supermarket nearby named Summit.

They usually open till 1am, but the neon sign was off.

I thought they closed a bit earlier today, but it was not.

They turned off the lights to save on electricity.

Was moved a bit.

* 今日は休みだよ


[by Mari-san]

One of the part time workers of us is from the suffered area.

My brother told one of the staff to tell him that he didn’t need to come to work today.

That staff called him and he said “Hi, there. We won’t open today.”

I was so moved the way he said.

He knows what concern means.

[by Keiko-san]

*We’re closed today

One of our fellow part time workers is from the afflicted area of Tohoku region. My brother told one of the staff to tell him that he didn’t need to come to work today. That staff called him and said, “Hey, the store's closed today. ”I was so moved by how he rephrased the message. That's truly an example of consideration for others.

* 買うのやめるわ

バイト先に若いお兄さんたちが軍団でお酒を買いに来たんだけど、その中の一人が「やべえ、オレお酒のためにしかお金持ってきてないから募金できん。ちょっとこれ買うのやめるわ」って言って商品返品してそのお金全部募金してた。お友達も続々と募金しててすごい感動した。 すごいよ

[by Mari-san]

I was working at the supermarket.

Some of the young guys came to buy alcoholic beverage.

One of them said.

“Darn, I only bring the money to by the beverage. I have no money to donate.

I won’t buy this.”

He returned all of them and donates all the money he got.

His fellows did the same.


* いつでも買える

今日、募金箱に金髪にピアスの若い兄ちゃんが万札数枚入れていた。そしてその友人に「ゲームなんていつでも買えるからな」と言っていたのが聞こえて私含め周りの人達も募金していた。人は見た目じゃないことを実感した。そんなお昼でした。 この話感動しました。

[by Mari-san]

This afternoon, I saw a young guy who has radical looks.

He donated put several ten-thousand-yen bills to a donation box saying his friends “We can buy a game anytime”.

I heard his words and that made me and the people around there what is important and we donated a bit too.

I re-realized that it is not appropriate to judge people by their looks.

* 困ったときは!


[by Mari-san]

Yesterday at Aobadai Station, there were so many people who were stuck there because there were no trains working.

I saw some drivers saying “I’m going to XXX” and offering a ride to the people passing by.

They were saying “this is the tough time to all of us.”

I was so moved.

* 充電されたい方は・・・・


When I was at the evacuation center, I met a girl who is a freshman.

She happened to staying this area to take training.

She has her battery charger of the cell.

She asked the permission to use the outlet of the evacuation center and walked around to appeal the people that there’s a battery charger to use.

I was so moved.

* 支払い

バイト中に地震があってほぼ満席の状態からお客さんに外に避難してもらいました。食い逃げ半端ないだろうな、と思っていたがほとんどのお客さんが戻ってきて会計してくれました。ほんの少しの戻られなかったお客さんは今日わざわざ店に足を運んでくださいました。日本ていい国。 #jishin

[by GenGen-san]

The earthquake hit during my shift at the restaurant. The restaurant was full but we evacuated the customers outside.

We thought the customers will leave without paying their bill, but most of the customers came back and paid their bill.

The hand full that haven't paid their bill came back the next day to pay their bill.

Japan is such a great country.

[by Mari-san]

When the earthquake struck Japan, I was working at the restaurant.

The restaurant was almost full.

After the earthquake, we guided the guest to go out from there because it could be dangerous.

I thought great part of them would leave there without paying,

But most of them came back and paid their bill.

The lest of them, who didn’t pay yesterday, came back to the restaurant today to pay.

What a beautiful country Japan is.

* 避難所


[by Keiko-san]

*Evacuation Center

My oldest daughter told me that on her way to the Yokohama evacuation

center, she was talking to people she doesn't know, and giving each

other the information about its location. She was touched that she

experienced the kindness of people whom she normally thought were

cold. I re-acknowledge the unity in Japanese people in times of

emergency. There is still hope in Japan.

* 絶対うまいはず


[by Keiko-san]

*I'm sure they tasted great

On the way home from Akihabara (Tokyo), I also saw a person giving out rice balls and miso soup. I was touched. I was on a bike so I said I'll be fine and told him to give them to other people, but I should have taken them. I'm sure they tasted great.

* お菓子いっぱい


[by Keiko-san]

*Lots of treats

Amazing. My younger brother just got home from Disneyland, and got a bag full of treats for free. He told me that they gave out transportation money to all the visitors. And accommodated whatever he requested all night long. That's world-class Disneyland.

* Pray for Japan!

う わーん!!感動し過ぎて超泣いた!さっきの知らない国際電話、誰か日本の人に繋がればいいなと思って日本の局番で自分と同じ番号おしてかけて来た、心配と

応援の電話だったの!英語よくわからなかったけど、言ってることは理解出来た!向こうで沢山の人がpray for japanって!

[by Keiko-san]

Pray for Japan!

Cry! I was so touched I cried super hard! That international call from a stranger just now, it was a phone call of worry and support from someone who called their own number, except with Japan's country code hoping to connect with someone in Japan! I didn't quite understand the English, but I understood what the person was trying to say! S/he said a lot of people over there are "praying for Japan"!

[by Mari-san]

The international phone I’ve got!!! That made me cry!!!

It was a call from somebody I don’t know.

That person made an international call by dialing Japanese Country number + his own phone number,

hoping it went through and he could talk with somebody in Japan.

And somebody was me!

I speak very little English, but I could feel what he feels.

He called me to show his concern and to cheer me up.

I could hear the voices of many people saying “Pray for Japan” on the other end of the line.

* コードネーム

米軍の日本救援のコードネームが Operation Tomodachi。感動した。いちいち発表しないところも。被災地での活動よろしくお願いします

[by Keiko-san]

*Operation name

US Forces named its Japan aid initiative Operation Tomodachi (Operation Friends). I was touched -also by the fact that they didn't make a big deal of announcing it. Thank you for all your hard work in the afflicted areas.

[by Mari-san]

The codename of US army’s rescue mission for Japan is “Operation Tomodachi” (Operation Friends).

I’m so touched.

They didn’t even give it publicity.

I would be grateful for your support at the suffered area.

* 真っ暗な店内

昨 夜のこと。ある駅近くのコンビニが停電の中自家発電で営業していた。レジに長蛇の列が出来ているさなか、燃料が切れたのか自家発電が切れてレジが動かなく


[by Keiko-san]

*In a dark store

It happened last night. A convenience store near a train station managed to open for business with a power generator. While I was waiting in a long line, the generator stopped, maybe because it ran out of fuel, and the cash register stopped. The entire store was pitch black. Everyone put the things they had in their hands back on the shelves and left, even though no one would've noticed if they walked out with them.

[by Mari-san]

Last night, during a blackout,

the convenience store near the station opened their shop with their private electric generator.

There was a huge line of the people waiting to buy goods in front of cash register.

Suddenly the lights got cut off and we were plunged into absolute darkness.

It seemed the generator had run out of fuel.

Everybody there left the shop after they brought back the items to the original shelf.

Even though it was the situation that nobody could have noticed even if they took them away without paying.

* 中国メディア


[by Min]

*Chinese Media

There are many news reports from Chinese media telling how calm Japanese citizens are and how they are impressed about that. Chinese media are often harsh toward Japan itself, but they introduce articles like, "After the earthquake, men are helping women and there are no trashes on the streets in Tokyo". Central Television of China told that there are Chinese guidance in disaster area. They ended the article by saying "We are very moved by Japanese people who concern about foreigners".(From Asahi Newspaper)

* 電気


*Electric lights

[by Min]

Here comes the light!!!!!! Thank you for everyone who cooperated to save on electricity!!! We are so glad for your help!!!!(From Mituwari in Morioka city, Iwate prefecture)

[by Mari-san]

We got the electricity back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for the people who saved the electricity for us.


* 凛々しい!


[by Min]

*Courageous Elderly!

Old man who are likely passed 80 years old, escaped from the disaster area said "We will be OK, we are pretty sure we will. We have experienced Tsunami from Chile so why can't we do it this time?" in smile. He, again in smile, said "It is useless to say something sad" to the news reporter trying to get some comments of sorrow. His wife standing next to him told the reporter sharply "Don't take photos of our disgraceful look". From this conversation, we can see how courageous the people

are who constructed Japan.

[by Keiko-san]

*Such dignity!

A man, probably over 80, was rescued in an afflicted area. "No problem! I've experienced the tsunami in Chile. Let's rebuild!" he said with a smile. The reporter attempted to get comments of grief, but he returned, "Crying just won't help the matter," and smiled. His wife standing next to him also said, "I look ridiculous. Don't get me on camera." Those people who built Japan have dignity.

* まいちゃん

『お前今日なんで髪ストレートなん? 俺巻き髪の方が好きって言ったべ』

『そーだけどー、まいに出来る節電ってこれ位しか思いうかばなかったしいー』 電車の中でのギャルカップルの会話。


[by Keiko-san]


"How come your hair's straight today? I told you I like your hair

curled." "I know, but this was the only way Mai could save

electricity." A conversation between a young couple on the train. The

entire Japan is thinking about what they can do to help out, that's

what I felt and tears came to my eyes. Yay, Mai-chan!

* ツイッター登録


主人共、メールがつながらなかった事もあって、一緒に登録しました。 みんなの励ましの言葉も読んで感動しました。


[by Keiko-san]

*Signing up on Twitter

After the earthquake, my daughter immediately showed me how to sign up on Twitter. I was happy. Since the email wasn't working, my husband and I both signed up. I read words of encouragement and was touched. Wishing the best for those in the afflicted areas and those heading there to aid.

* 知恵袋


[by Keiko-san]


Just saw the Ibaragi (near Tokyo) food shortage tweet. It's impossible but I looked up ways to send things there on Yahoo Answers, and saw disaster victims in Ibaragi exchanging messages. At the end of every message, the last line was, "The dawn always follows the darkest part of night," "Take good care of your wife," "Be patient. Hang in there," - words of consideration and encouragement. Amazing.

* 生きた証


[by Mari-san]

Living proof

A boy of the same age as me had a brush with death.

When he faced it, he kept making a film by the camera of his cell

phone to make it his living proof.

In such an extreme state, he did it.

I respect him.

[by Keiko-san]

A proof of his life

A boy who's the same age as me continued to take movies on his cellphone in an attempt to leave behind a proof of his life. Amazing. I really respect him who was able to act like that in such circumstances.

* 絶体絶命!


[by Mari-san]

In Chinese character, we write "certain death" like this “絶体絶命”.

If we split up those characters, we get “ 糸 色 体、糸 色 命 (Ito shiki

Karada, Ito shiki Inochi).

Itoshiki means precious. Karada means body. Inochi menas life.

All together, it means “Precious body. Precious life”

I saw that on the bulletin board and so touched.

More power to you, everyone! We can do it, Japan!!

[by Keiko-san]

*Zettai zetsu-mei (on the ragged edge)!

"Zettai zetsu-mei (on the ragged edge=desperate situation)": when the parts of the kanji are taken apart, it's "ito" "shiki" "karada" "ito" "shiki" "inochi" which sounds like "Precious body, precious life." I saw it on a board, and was moved. Go everyone! Go Japan!

* 慣れてるのよ


[by Mari-san]

When I was on the train, I heard two old ladies talking.

“The policeman told me to turn off the light because we were short of it.”

“We used to spend a lot of time without lights for the good of our

country during the World War 2. This time, we don’t need to worry

about the bombs falling over us.

We’ll gladly turn off the light, won’t we?”

People around them became silent.

I was almost crying.

[by Keiko-san]

*We’re used to it

A conversation I overheard on the train between two grandmas. "The police are telling us to turn the lights off because there's not enough electricity." "We're used to living without electricity for the sake of our country. This time [compared to World War II], it's not that bombs are coming down on us, so wouldn't we happily turn the lights off?" People around them got silent for a second. I almost started to cry.

* 都会は冷たい?


[by Keiko-san]

People in the city are cold?

On a jam packed train, a lady sitting in front of me held onto my bag for me. It made the trip a lot easier. I was touched and tears came to my eyes. We often hear that people in the city are cold, but that's not true!

* ふんばりどころ


[by Keiko-san]

Hanging in

The Toyoko Line (Tokyo-Yokohama) train conductor announced, "Things are rough now, but let's hang in there and survive this crisis together!" That's probably not on the manual. Nice :)

* アリエル


[by Keiko-san]


In the Mermaid Lagoon Theater at Tokyo Disney Sea, the earthquake struck during a show. The audience got in a panic, but Ariel who was suspended on a wire, perhaps in the most dangerous circumstance, kept smiling and waving. When she left the stage after the shake stopped, there was a big applause.



[by Keiko-san]

Everything's alright

An American student living in the Chiba prefecture got on CNN. "I got in a panic, but Japanese people around me were different. They remained calm and gave each other considerate words. Check in on others to see everyone's alright, cheer, and help each other. They were great. Japan will be alright." The CNN reporter hoping to hear about panic was sort of disappointed...

* 電車


[by Keiko-san]

At the train station

I saw little kids telling a train station staff, "Thank you for doing your best to keep the train running yesterday." The staff was crying. I cried big time, too.

* 元気を生み出すもの


[by Keiko-san]

What brings energy to people

Hey, all women in the world, listen. There's not enough electricity in Japan. That can't be helped. What fills the gap is everyone's positive energy. Above all else, women's smiles creates energy. There's no light, so your makeup may not be perfect, but that's ok. Please smile, and everything will be alright even in this situation. Good morning!

* 無双ぶり

自衛隊が救助できた人1万近いらしいし感動 “福島の奴と話せた時に自衛隊の無双ぶりをきいた。 マジですごいらしい。背中に年寄り2人背負って両腕に年寄り1人ずつ。計4人の年寄り抱えてダッシュとか普通にしてるらしい。それなのに 食事も睡眠もろくにとらず、笑顔でがんばってるようだ。 ”

[by Keiko-san]


The number of people the self-defense army has rescued: close to 10,000. Amazing. When I was able to talk to a guy in Fukushima prefecture, I heard how great they were. Really awesome. Get two elderlies on the back, two more in each arm; with four all together they run around as if that's nothing. They can't spare much time to eat or sleep, but are doing their best with a smile on their faces.

* セール

個人商店で「困ったときはお互い様セール」やってた。日用品とかが安くなってんの。日頃から値下げしまくってギリギリ運営だった癖に……! ほとんど儲け出ないと思われる数字の値札を貼りながらにこにこ笑うおばさんに感動した。

[by Keiko-san]

A sale

At a mom-and-pop store they were having a, "let's-help-each-other-out-at-this-rough-time sale". Everyday household things were marked down, but they've always kept the prices low and they were barely making profit! It was amazing that the lady was putting prices on things knowing that they wouldn't bring in much profit, but still had a smile on her face.

* ふんばりどころ


[by Mari-san]

*Critical time

The conductor of Toyokosen Train.

He made a train announcement.

“The situation is tough. But this is the critical time.

Let’s join hands each other and get over it!

Those phrases might not be in the manual.

Those phrases must be coming from his heart.


* アリエル


[by Mari-san]


When the earthquake struck Japan, I was watching the show at the

Marmaid Lagoon Theater of Tokyo Disneysea.

The guest got panics, but Ariel, who was hung high from a wire, kept

smiling and waving to the guests intently, even though she was the one

who was in the most dangerous situation there.

After the most destructive shaking had gone, when she left the stage,

the guests burst into applause.



[by Mari-san]

*We are OK!

A student from USA who’s living in Chiba was interviewed by CNN.

“I got panics, but the Japanese people around me didn’t. They were

calmly asking each other if they were OK. Verify the condition of each

other and cheer up each other.

Japanese people are great! Japan is Alright!”

It seemed the intervewer who was expecting a panic was a bit

disappointed with his comment.

* 電車


[by Mari-san]


I saw a little boy saying “Thank you very much for putting the vest

effort to operate trains yesterday."

The station staff was weeping. I couldn’t help but cry.

* 元気を生み出すもの


[by Mari-san]

*Energy Source

Girls! Please listen to me! Now we are short of electricity. We can’t

do much about it.

What makes up for this is people’s energy. Smile of the girls is one

of the biggest energy sources of us. We have tough situation, you may

not be able to make up nicely, but please show us your smile. Your

smile can be the key to get over this! Good Morning!

* 無双ぶり

自衛隊が救助できた人1万近いらしいし感動 “福島の奴と話せた時に自衛隊の無双ぶりをきいた。 マジですごいらしい。背中に年寄り2人背負って両腕に年寄り1人ずつ。計4人の年寄り抱えてダッシュとか普通にしてるらしい。それなのに 食事も睡眠もろくにとらず、笑顔でがんばってるようだ。 ”

[by Mari-san]

*Unrivaled effort

I was so touched by the outstanding news that Japan Self-Defense

Forces rescued almost 10,000 people from the disaster site.

I had an opportunity to talk with the one who lives in Fukushima.

He told me about the unrivaled effort of them.

He said “people witnessed several of members of the Self Defense

Forces carried 4 old people at a time, 2 on his back and 1 each on hid


Carrying 4 people at a time and run – they keep doing that without

enough eat and sleep as if it’s a kind of thing should be taken for


And there’s a smile on their face.”

* やっつける!


[by Mari-san]

*smash out the earthquake

Yesterday, my little nephew came to visit us.

He has a doll of Kamen Rider (Japanese hero, someone like Spiderman)

in his hand.

I wonder why he brought it.

He came to me and told me, “Shi-chan (my name), I’m going to smash out

the earthquake with him!

He is just a 3-years-old boy, but has such a spirit.

I couldn’t help but weep.

* 豚汁

お母さんが大量に豚汁作ってる 人のためだってさ ちょっと感動

[by Mari-san]

*Miso soup

My mom is making tons of Miso soup.

For the people, she said.


* セール

個人商店で「困ったときはお互い様セール」やってた。日用品とかが安くなってんの。日頃から値下げしまくってギリギリ運営だった癖に……! ほとんど儲け出ないと思われる数字の値札を貼りながらにこにこ笑うおばさんに感動した。

[by Mari-san]


I saw a small privately owned shop had a sale named “Help each other Sale”.

They sells daily necessities at a substantial discount.

I know that they had been cutting prices to the bone even before the

earthquake, but even more!

I was so touched with the smile of the lady who put new price tags on goods.

* 侍魂

母親より。 今朝の横浜市営地下鉄…。 乗り込んだ車内でアナウンス。 「混み合っている中、誠に申し訳御座いませんが○号車は女性専用車両となります。」 女性達も動揺したが、あれだけ混雑している中、文句一つ言わずに男性達は外に出て次の電車を待ったらしい。 侍魂。これが日本の男性です。

[Written by Seika]

* Samurai Spirit

From mother; in the Yokohama-city subway this morning, there was a announcement in the train I had got on "Sorry for the inconvenience of the jam, but this carriage is actually meant be for only women. Thank you for your understanding." Women fell concerned about the men, as they knew we were all in short of transports, but all the men got off in silence with no complains, and they waited for the next one. This is the Samurai Spirit (showing what they think is right without looking for recognition.) They are the Japanese men.

[by Mari-san]

*Spirit of Samurai

From my Mom.

This morning, in the crowded car of Yokohama City subway,

there was a train announcement.

“I’m sorry to say this in this situation, but Car No. X is a woman only car.”

All the women in that car looked upset, but all the men who were there

got off the train and waited for next one without any fuss.

Sprits of Samurai.

This shows how gentle Japanese men are.

* 放送事故


[Written by Seika]

* Broadcast Accident

When a male news reporter was reporting on the news about the current situation in the damaged region, he fell silent all of a sudden after reading "A mother who was unable to breastfeed her bady due to a large amount of stree queued for milk at the supermarket all night" He paused and it was like a moment of a broadcast accident. He got back to his report soon after that, but i saw him crying. My eyes watered.

[by Mari-san]

I was watching TV hearing the anchorman of NHK kept reading out the

situation of damage in a detached tone.

He said "A woman who couldn’t get her breast milk from the stress

got in a line in front of the supermarket all night and she finally

managed buy some milk for the baby."

Then, there was a brief silence.

Soon after, he started to read out again, but I could feel that he was crying.

My eyes filled with tears.

[by Aya-san]

Dead Air, Falling Silent

An NHK announcer was reading a news script, announcing the state of the devastation and the latest development calmly. He reached this part of the news script, "A mother was able to buy much-waited formula for her baby. She stood in line all thru the night in front of a supermarket. Her milk had dried up because of stress caused by the quakes." The announcer fell silent. It was like dead air. He immediately picked up but I could see he was crying. Tears welled up in my eyes.

* 若かった頃ね・・・

いつか自分の子供や孫に話そう。「おばあちゃんが若かった時、東日本大震災があって世界中が1つになった。皆が一つのために必死になって支えあって輝いていたんだよ」って。相手が聞き飽きるまで話そう。だから1人でも多くの人に元気になってほしい。 #prayforjapan

[Written by Seika]

* When I was young

I shall tell my children and ground children one day, " There was a catastrophecal earthquake in the north-east part of Japan when I was young . The whole world came together and supported us, which looked brightening to me." I shall tell them until they get bored of the story, so I hope as many people as possibe to get recovery.

[by Mari-san]

* When I was young…

One day, I will tell my children and grandchildren.

“When I was young, there was a huge earthquake. All the world united

and helped each other. People’s feeling of goodwill was shining all


I will tell this story till everybody get fed up with it.

I hope that as many people as possible will be saved and recover from

the suffering.

[by Aya-san]

* When Granny was young...

I will tell my kids and grandkids someday_when I have them_, "When granny was young, we had this terrible earthquake that hit east part of this country. And the whole world came together as one. Everyone did best to support each other. It was tough but we glowed with pride." I will tell them again and again, until they get fed up with an old granny's story. SO, I WANT US TO CHEER UP. #prayforjapan

* 駄目だけどw


[by Aya-san]

* We suck, but...

On an anonymous online bulletin board, someone asked, "What'd you guys do if you walked into a convenience store (a drug store) that had lost power in the dark and everyone inside the store had left and abandoned the store? You'd be virtually free to take anything from the store!?" Someone immediately responded, "I'd take off all my clothes and walk around naked." Lots of other guys agreed to that comment. This country sucks, but the people rock.

[by Mari-san]

*It may sound stupid, but

There was an open letter at the bulletin board.

“What would you do if you happened to find a convenience store that is

dark without power and everybody had run away, so that you can swipe

whatever you want?”

Somebody answered “ I would hang around butt naked”

Many people offered thumbs up.

We are stupid but we are still powerful enough to joke on it.

* 無力じゃない


[by Aya-san]

*”I am not powerless”

My beloved one serves the Self Defense Forces and is currently deployed in an affected area. He only gets 3 hours of break per 24 hours. I emailed him asking if he was doing alright. His reply: "This is what we are trained for. People who I care make me believe I am not powerless. I'm calm and peaceful inside." I know you already appreciate these courageous men, but I ask you to show your appreciation even more.

* 復活




[by Mari-san aka mariyn]

I got an e-mail from my friend in Kesennuma, Miyagi.

“The survivors are all doing well.

There’s sludge and heavy oil sprit everywhere, and we have no bath and toilet

So that we are eating foods by the dirty hands.

Harrowing stories here and there, but we have whole lot more encouraging stories.

We will make a strong comeback, so please believe in and wait for the good news.”

I can’t stop crying.