At around 5 PM, finally Christina knocked on my door, and I have never been so relieved to see someone in my life. She, Krysta and I decided to stay ay Christina’s apartment during the black-out. This is the first time for me to be in a major disaster, but not for Christina. She went through hurricane in Florida once, and went through weeks without power.
She asked me to bring my game board and some food, so I went back inside, grabbed my monopoly board, some tortilla chips, salsa, chocolate biscuits, and blankets. Before I let, I put my thickest coat (it was snowing that time), gloves, ear muffs, backpack, and my water resistant boots by the door, kept the door opened and went next door.
I felt so much better already, having my friends there, and didn’t have to be alone anymore.
We sat on the floor with bankets, ate the snacks and talked about what happened. Gas was still running so we could boil some water and had hot tea.We saw the footage through Christina’s phone about the Tsunami and we realized how lucky we were. I felt so ashamed for crying earlier, knowing that there were people out there who had to go through a way way bigger disaster than I did.
We opened the board and played monopoly for a while, and then a big aftershock came, and we jumped under the table. I guess we were still traumatized of what had been happening, and it started to get really really cold, so we decided to look for a shelter instead of staying in our apartment. While Christina and Krysta collecting their stuff into their emergency bag, I went down stair and knocked on our landlord’s door to ask them about the nearest shelter. Bless them, they were home, and they explained to me how to get to the nearest shelter, even though they told me probably it was warmer if we stayed inside our apartment, as they were’t sure if the shelter had heaters. The landlord’s wife gave me heat patch and she told me to put it on my stomach to help me to stay warm. My first reaction was, don’t you need it for yourself? But she reassured me that they had enough and I really should take some. It was my first of many experiences about how nice and selfless these people here during this disaster.
Despite what the landlord told us, we decided to try to go the nearest shelter anyways, plus, we were still terrified of the big aftershocks. And sure enough, when we got there, some city hall officers greeted us and told us that they had beds there, for people who were afraid to stay at their home, but there was no heaters nor water. While we were there, a car approached, and the driver rolled the window down, and it was our landlord! Apparently, he was worried about us, and decided to go to the shelter and checked the condition himself. After talking to the city hall officers for a while, the landlord told us that he was pretty sure that our apartment building was safe enough, and it would be much warmer to stay there than to stay at the shelter. He drove us back to the apartment, and before we went up, he reminded us that water would be out soon since our water came from the reservoir tank at the top floor, and since there was no power, the pump would not work, so we had to get the water from the first floor (I live on the 5th floor). Well, that was another problem, but remembering how lucky we were compared to the tsunami victims, we felt like it was a very small price to pay.
We went back to my apartment and decided all three of us would sleep at my apartment. With Krysta’s flashlight and my one and only candle, we arranged our futons, blankets to make the ‘slumber party’ as warm and comfortable as possible. We were pretty tired that night from all the stress, so we decided to go to bed early. before I went to bed, I sent another mail to my loved ones, and checked on my friends’ conditions. I still couldn’t get a hold of Ria but my friend in Ueda said Ueda area was OK. I was so happy to read that most of my friends were OK. My friend Jamie’s wife, Yoshiko, was stucked in Sendai, but at least she managed to messaged Jamie and told him she was OK.
Two big aftershocks, countless small-medium aftershocks, and some restless sleep later, we finally survived the Black Friday.