March 12, 2011 13:59
“Leaving in 2 minutes”….so I was told at the train station information booth. The station guy didn’t even bother to check the contents of my pass but simply asked me to hurry up.
So….I did. I waved at the train master to signal I was coming. I didn’t even have time to buy my bento box, but who cares.
In disaster situations like this, I will board whichever is the first available train. I only hope this is not the “D” train.
It’s 13:59. I have a bar of large Cadbury chocolate (with fruit and nuts), few raisins, a handful of almonds and a mug of freshly-brewed tea with me. That should keep me going till I arrive in Tokyo 90 or so minutes later.
I used to munch on a pack of Cadbury chocolate (same as now but only a smaller pack) and tea each day when I worked in Citibank in the early 70’s. I only weaned myself from them when I started to carry my first child. Tea, nuts, raisins and chocolate are a lovely combo!
On reflecting back and as I get older, I do firmly believe that things do happen for a reason….
· My train pass – the very last minute at the point of sale, I made a change from a 2-day pass to a 3-day one. There wasn’t any premonition of a disaster and getting stuck on the second day.
· My Skype communication tool – I set it up only the night of my departure for Nikko….simply to make call to UK to cancel my reservation at the bunk-bed hostel in Tokyo. Now with LAN and cell lines out, the Skype is my means of communication where there is Internet connection.
· My knapsack stuff – I carried 2 days of underwear instead of 1 just in case. And, now I got to use the contingency supply! I only consumed the biscuits and chocolate cookie yesterday to save some of my energy-replenishment supply for today.
· My stay – Nikko is a quaint little resort-type of town, only much smaller than those in resorts like Banff. On the day of my arrival, it was sunny with the snow-capped mountains standing so gorgeous against the bright blue sky. I told myself I like the town and could come back again in the Fall or Summer. Now, I have my wish of extending the stay, though not in such positive way.
· My coffee shop – I didn’t have a chance to go back to the clean and quiet UCC Cafe to enjoy my cup of brewed coffee (the only brewed coffee in town). Well, it’s something for my next trip here….that cosy shop with its own flair.
· The cats’ meow – the night before the quake, the cats were meowing a lot outside the window. On the night of the quake (last night), some meows were more intense. The cats must have sensed the heat!
The town is very quiet today despite it’s a Saturday. The tourist loop bus is empty. When I saw no crowds in front of the train station from afar, I asked myself if this was a positive or a negative sign. But the fact taxis are stationed at the entrance, I tell myself it’s more of the former.
The train is packed. I cleared the seat beside me for the next passenger. In times like this, who in the crowd would like to stand all the way on the 90+ minutes’ train ride?