Thursday, March 17, 2011

In which Amalie rants about not going to Japan

If you've read my post on the other blog, you already know that we're not going.
We were going crazy trying to decide whether to stay or go. We knew that we needed to make a decision soon, and when we almost had, the ministry of foreign affairs made it for us.
Our trip, although very important to us, didn't exactly qualify as "essential".
It was the right thing to do.
My reasons for going were becoming fewer and fewer by the day anyway, and in the end the last reason to go seemed to be Izumi's wedding. I'll be feeling the guilt of missing that for years to come, but i figured that guilt is still preferable to radiation poisoning.
Yes, that was one of my main concerns, and the reason i am still so damn worried about my Japanese friends.
I am generally very skeptic when it comes to the the Japanese government and i believe they're more than capable of lying to people, and the company they get most of their information from, Tepco, seems even sketchier. They seem to be feeding us a mixture of no information and information overload, not just about the possible nuclear meltdown, but about everything.
If i didn't have friends in Tokyo, i wouldn't even know how bad the situation is there.
Of course i know that panicking won't do anybody any good at this time, but people need to be cautious or this could end up haunting future generations in ways we can't even imagine.

Another reason for not going was my fear of seeming like the kind of people who'd go somewhere to get a little drama into their boring lives, or the kind of people that need to prove to others that they're not scared.
Those people do exist, but i don't need to see things first hand to know how bad they are, and i am scared, very scared.

So yeah, this is a place that has been struck by an almost unimaginable disaster, and i'd be going there to do... what exactly? I was thinking about this when i was writing a friend in a similar situation earlier and it all seemed so clear. What would we do there?
Shop? Go sightseeing? Hang out with friends who no doubt has better things to do? Work when the tattooers there can barely find clients? Eat delicious food in one of the few open restaurants when thousands of Japanese are going hungry? According to a friend in Tokyo, you can't even find water and toilet paper in convenience stores. They obviously don't need me using up their few resources. And going about my business, acting like nothing has happened when there's a cloud of sadness and god knows what else hanging above our heads, is just not in my nature.
And there'd be absolutely nothing we could do to help there. We'd be useless and in the way, and we'd be a burden on our friends, one that they don't need now.
Japan needs our help right now, everybody's help, but we can be more useful to them here than we could over there.*

So yeah, in the end, our reasons for wanting to go were selfish.
We wanted to be in Japan, we wanted to go to a wedding and we wanted to get tattooed.
But we also wanted things to be the way they were, and guess what; they're not.
It was the right choice, but since this will be the first time we're in Denmark in the springtime in years, i suspect we'll be feeling a little lost for a while.

On a different, and way lighter, note, i got my 15 minutes of Instagram fame today, when a picture of mine landed on the "popular" page and i got flooded by more "likes" and comments than you can shake a stick at.
At first i was oddly proud, then a few negative comments came in and i got annoyed, and then i got a little claustrophobic. Up until now, Instagram had been kind of underground and exclusive, and all of a sudden i felt like a kid whose secret tree house has been discovered by grown ups.
What a weird experience.
It'll go away though, the sudden attention, i just need to not post any tattoo pictures for a while!**

My legs

There they are again, being all popular and slightly controversial

*Did you make it this far or did i lose you somewhere around "nuclear meltdown"?

**Allan had warned me of this; tattoo pictures make people go nuts.


  1. Your legs are awesome and I may have contributed to the get your photo to the popular page by liking it, but I meant well, not that your treehouse should be revealed! hope's ok ;)

    and about Japan, can't really say something that has not already been said, more than that my thoughts are with everyone affected.

    Love k

  2. Karolina Pettersson, haha, it's totally ok! I was actually really stoked about it because i love instagram, but getting likes from all those people who don't normally follow me was just really surprising!
    You're right about Japan, there's really nothing we can say that makes it ok, or even seems real. All we can do is try to help them out and donate as much as we can.

  3. Bare rolig, vi finder nogen kirsebær træer til jer og laver en picnic. ...Iført regntøj og uldsokker, men damn it, I WILL GIVE YOU GUYS SPRING!

    Glad for at i blir. Jeg har en pæn god ide om hvor meget det her betyder for jer, men du siger selv alle grundene til at blive hjemme.

    Krammer og positive tanker til jer begge!

  4. Hello, I read your blog and also follow you on twitter. I am wondering if you can tell me more about the Maneki Neko motif that is displayed on your wall behind your legs, which has awesome work on it (thumbs up). Thanks for your time.

  5. darn tootin' you should be on the popular page! those pins are beautiful!

  6. Marv, picnic ville være rart... snøft.

    Bryan, Hello! There isn't much of a story there. It's a tenugui, a traditional Japanese towel that i took home and got framed. The towel has lots of maneki neko doing different tasks, that are explained in both english and japanese, and as it normally is with these things, not super well translated. It's stuff like do a good deed, and lead a good life. Not antique and not very profound, just cute!

    samboy, hehe, thanks!

  7. yeah poor japan will be messed up more and longer than we can imagine all you here in america is how it affects economy and the yen !as if that matters at a time like this.

  8. Sorry for commenting like a week later, I just wanted to say that I'm glad you guys decided not to go to Japan. I really sympathize, it must be really awful and scary to know people who live there, and I would have had the same instinct you did: just wanting to go and help! But you're right, there's not really much you can actually do at this time, and it would have been frightening for your family and friends. And blog readers, (haha). Your heart is in the right place and I hope your Japanese friends will understand. Keep your chin up, or as we say in Canada, Keep your stick on the ice, hah.

  9. chris- yeah, with that many lives lost i'm always amazed that people can even bring themselves to talk about money.

    nova- That's ok, i'm a late commenter too!
    Our friends were really sweet and understanding, but it's still weird not to be going. But it was the right choice for sure.

  10. It would be crazy for you to come here. I can't even begin to tell you how fucked up it is. Our lives and our future have forever been altered. I'm so mad and so sad and so scared. i still try (my hardest) to go on with my life, but everything is different. nothing is the same any more.

  11. I wish i could just take every person i love in japan, and every person they love, and get you all out of there. But that wouldn't make it any better, i know. If only there was more we could do over here. It pisses me off so bad that the media, and people over here, have already moved on from this when the situation is still so severe.