Over the past two weeks there has been an influx of people leaving their homes in Tokyo and my dear friend was one of them, taking her half-tank of gas and heading to the Narita airport with her fingers crossed that her car would get them there. It did, and now she's staying in her friend's downtown Toronto condo. Leading up to her departure, however, Tokyo was not a tranquil place.
She says that reports here in Canada have been a little apocalyptic. I don't agree. I know that traditionally Japanese people are orderly. A 3 km lineup for gas here would see more than a few raised fingers, a curse word or two and revving engines. There, not so much. Everyone patiently waits in line for their turn at the gas pump, and if the pump runs out before they get their turn it's a jaunt to the next station promising petrol. I also think that the government are not telling them the full story about the danger of the nuclear reactor situation. Face masks or no, health risks are still high.
Joy flew into Canada with her two daughters. She left her husband, home and beloved dog behind - not on purpose - but because her husband is part of the search-and-rescue turned search-and-recovery in the areas hit by the tsunami and near the nuclear reactors spewing out radiation into the atmosphere. He takes his job very seriously so he stayed to help. Bless him.
It's also part of the plan. Joy had expected to fly into Toronto this past Friday. She was two days early and for that I am thankful. And although she was tired when her and the girls finally touched down, I think she was thankful to see a familiar face at the gate, holding up a welcome sign and a coffee. She's here until March 31 and then it's back to Japan, back into the arms of her husband and the aftermath. She's leaving behind a daughter, her oldest whose set to finish out her high school career in Canada.
I'll be taking the next couple of days and driving to see her and the girls in Napanee. I can't wait to properly catch up with her when jetlag and travel are a mere memory. What is not is the panic back home, with limited food, gas and much-needed infrastructure. It would be so much worse if the public on a whole was not so well-organized and stoic. My heart goes out to Japan and its people. I'm just glad most of my people managed to find their way to me.