Home Thoughts From Abroad

Things up  North in Japan are terrible. I hear of hundreds of dead, an explosion at a nuclear power plant. Where do I get this information? From bbc.co.uk.

Although I live in Japan, I am very disconnected. I do not speak the language. I cannot read the newspapers and cannot understand the radio or TV.  The dentist speaks English. I ask if he has family in the North. He has. He says we are lucky in Scotland to have no earthquakes.  “Has anything happened in Okinawa?” “No, I do not think so.”

Okinawa. The morning after the earthquake.

Compared to the scalpel-like accuracy and speed of the international media, my attempts to find out what is going on here in Okinawa are clumsy.

This leads me to the nature of living away from your home country in our age. In the 70’s I spent 2 years in Algeria.  No web , no telephone, only letters in envelopes.  Two week old copies of the Daily Telegraph were devoured and passed around amongst the very small Brit community each time someone came back from Britain. People clustered around a radio to try and understand the World Service News despite the hum and crackle. Every thing I needed to know had to be wrung out of society in Algeria. There was no alternative.We were truly abroad.

Now I have live radio over on my computer. Email from the US tells me  that there has been an earthquake in Japan. I have any number of newspapers that update news by the minute. I listen to English language podcasts as I drive through the rice fields. I am in a cocoon. Although abroad, the experience will never be the same. The nature of travel has totally changed.

I feebly offer those who are  suffering in the North of Japan my support. Okinawa has been mercifully spared.

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2 Responses to Home Thoughts From Abroad

  1. Alexander McGillivray says:

    I had imagined Okinawa to be bigger than pictured here.

    It may not surprise you that the terrible news from Japan was pushed off the front pages this morning by news of the disaster in Rome.

    Now it is the turn of we braw lads…in less than an hour we go to the sword or glory.

    Can there be two miracles in one weekend?

    Thinking of you in your isolation.


  2. Okinawa is only a tiny place. Just a couple of egrets and me as inhabitants. Wait , maybe I went to the wrong place!
    Saw the brave boys through some internet pirate site. I thought Kelly Brown was dead. Unfortunately I missed the best bits as I fell asleep – it was 02:00. I worry about still being a real rugby person. However we were magnificently noble, courageous, valiant, fleet footed, dignified, and bursting with integrity. Could not seem to win any line out or scrum ball though. Strange.

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