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March 16, 2011

Radiation Run

I have to admit something.

I bought myself a mask yesterday at the nearest convenience store after work.

Shortly after my mask purchase waiting for my home-bound train
As I was leaving a colleague advised me to take this precaution in light of the alarming media statement that the ventilation system of a reactor had been damaged and that the cooling systems had been ineffective.

My love/hate relationship with Facebook re-surfaced. Dangerous in times of doubt or national disaster. Families fearing for their safety were leaving Japan. Expats were being bought tickets to return to their homelands by their companies. Others were AT LEAST heading further south in Japan. The atmosphere was unsettling for an expectant mother with little information due to a day working and not having had access to the circulating media for the day.

Also that there was so much conflicting news being aired between local and foreign media had me on the phone to doctors and consulting the opinions of the experts I admire or at the very least believe! The risk to an unborn foetus is dependent on the level of radiation and the length of exposure, both of which are avoidable if the levels should so rise and be sustained. I have also learnt that to flee for a short period of time, if the figures do rise, would be ineffective in preventing foetal radiation risks and in such a case a longer hiatus would be most beneficial for a baby. The clear-cut figures of what exact levels and length of exposure might be dangerous to a foetus is such murky territory, which made me decide to reassess the situation the next morning.

So, as of today, I have made the informed decision to remain here in Japan. Unconfirmed information  has been called out in the media and the present radiation levels and expected recurrent earth tremors are not worrying to me as my area is over 260km awy from the Fukushima-Daiichi explosion site. Continuing to work and enjoy my life in a stress-free manner in the fabulous city of Tokyo is important to me. So far as I can do this, I will not be evacuating.

Sure there were a few more rumbles under our feet today and I had to eat a hot-cake instead of a sandwhich due to stocking issues, but after Friday's experience these are sneezes in comparrison.

For the record, I left my mask on the breakfast table as I left for work this morning. I even skipped the news and watch some America's Next Top Model. How's that for defiance.


  1. Not defiance - more of the Japanese stoicism that has been reported on as being pervasive in light of the horrific events...a good coping mechanism perhaps when the alternative could have been utter panic.
    Japan is on all our minds.

  2. i love seeing your positive attitude and very educated decisions you are making. Japanese love their country and i'm so happy that you too have fell in love with Japan! i miss you guys horribly but i can't wait to see Japan rebuild itself and become the strong country it is! spread your love and optomistic attitude to the rest of your country!!

  3. We had the most amazing day out shopping for new baby clothes and enjoying the spring air! Can you believe the blossoms are starting to show - still not out of my Winter coat though, although partly to keep the bump warm and happy too :)

  4. Gosh everyone needs a break from the news. I've decided not to wake up to news every morning...So I can get on with daily life properly and efficiently....My moods were affected about how well or badly the nuclear reactors were doing so definitely time for watching something other than the news. Congrads on having a boy...:)

  5. i agree -I kept myself busy with work and watching tv sitcoms instead... although i have to admit to jumping on Twitter everytime i felt an aftershock to check the magnitude. Became a bit of a guessing game and always registered bigger on the scale than I guessed - so I've concluded we are super fortunate! Thanks we are so excited about this little guys arrival! Keep happy, healthy and beautiful - love your blog! X Joey

  6. I just wanted to say that this blog has given me a nice perspective. My husband and I decided to move to Japan about 2 days before the disaster and everyone thinks we're crazy but I am really excited about living in Tokyo. It is such a beautiful city and it seems there is so much to do. Thanks for continuing with this Blog!
    Good luck with your baby boy!

  7. Great to hear you are excited about exploring Tokyo! I get excited everytime I get onto the train to head to Shibuya! You'd think I'd be over it by now. :)
    There are so many beautiful places to see in the suburbs too which is another great reason to enjoy a relaxed life in Japan outside of the bustle. I hope you keep a blog of your adventures too! Thanks for reading :)


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