All’s Quiet on the Tokyo Front

Things are pretty quiet here in Tokyo today. There have been three (four?) reactor explosions as well as several fires at the nuclear power plant and it’s got everyone pretty spooked. I’m not evacuating Tokyo as the French and German embassies advised but I’m sure not keeping my windows open. The Japanese aren’t generally the sort to panic but even some of them are leaving Tokyo. I really can’t- there’s no good way out of here. I have a motorcycle, but there won’t be any gasoline left along the evacuation route since everyone will go in the same predicable direction. Then when I ran out of gas, I’d be stranded in the open. Not good.

The Japanese news and the foreign news must be reporting on two different events, because no two stories are the same. The Japanese media keep insisting nothing really significant is going on, and the foreign media is making it sound like we’re about to get nuclear death rained down on us at any moment. I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between. Even the Japanese are getting really angry at the dodgy reporting and lack of information. I feel sorry for anyone here who can’t access or understand foreign media. I mean, it’s a touch hysterical, to put it mildly, but the Japanese “Don’t worry, everything is fine” is actually making everyone even more nervous.

I’ve actually been reading up on nuclear power and it’s more interesting (and unfortunately relevant) than I thought.  In the end, it’s all about making steam. I had never really thought about how the process worked, but us  humans are mining uranium, enriching and processing it,  handling radioactive substances, and having highly toxic waste to dispose of…all in the name of making steam. That’s super-simplified, but it’s basically true. Atoms are split, it generates heat, which heats water to make steam, which spins a turbine, which makes electricity.  Sort of amazing and horrifying in its simplicity at the same time. I’m not anti-nuke and I’m still not, even after everything that’s happened. There is simply no alternative to nuclear power for Japan.  When nuclear plants go wrong, they go really wrong. But I’m not buying the nuclear hysteria- coal and petroleum are nasty too (thanks, BP). Nothing is without risk. Heck, a refinery in Chiba (near Tokyo) caught on fire after the earthquake, but that kind of faded into the background after the triple explosions at the nuclear power plant.

So I’m wary but A-OK.  I will leave if the US Embassy orders evacuation. So far, only a few European embassies have advised it, no one has ordered it. I doubt they will unless things take a dramatic turn for the worse, which looks unlikely. In the case of evacuation, we’re not supposed to take any personal items, only passports and ID and necessary medicine, but I’d sneak one bottle of nail polish out with me.  Maybe China Glaze “Drinking My Blues Away.” But I think evacuation is really highly unlikely at this point. ::rustles stash for China Glaze anyway::

Great. That’s my idea of disaster preparedness: picking a bottle of polish to take with me. I told you I was hardcore!


About nevertoomuchglitter

Nail artist. Wanderer. I'm a color-holic, in fact, it was my love of color that brought me to the nail art world. Well, that, and the fact I was too cheap to pay crazy Japanese prices for nail polish while living in Tokyo, so I had to start mixing my own. That's how NTMG began.
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26 Responses to All’s Quiet on the Tokyo Front

  1. Zara says:

    I’m glad you’re still doing okay! Thanks for the updates.

  2. Chrissy says:

    I am glad your ok I made a post about your blog so others can read your updates on whats happening there. Please keep us informed. 🙂

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thank you very much! I’ll keep everyone updated though I hope there’s no more “excitement.”

  3. Peace Blair says:

    I like the personal info. And I too am glad that you are okay. Your nails are fantastic.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks! I’m painting some tiny Andy Warhol ones right now…will post a pic when they’re done.

  4. Frankenstyna says:

    I’m glad you are ok!! When I heard about the earthquake, I wondered about one of my fav bloggers- you! lol I guess us nail fanatics have to stick together…
    I hope you and those you care about stay safe and get through this disaster. ❤

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks very much- I’m very happy to say that me, my guy and our close friends have all made it through OK.

  5. Lucy says:

    I keep thinking about you. Your the only person I know in Japan. I wish I could whisk you and all your polishes away somewhere safe. It’s awful not to know the full truth of what’s going on. Don’t the Japanese government realize the access people have to the news from around the world! Your so right about the alternatives of nuclear power. Nothing is really safe. Everything is so interconnected. You need oil for heat and power. It’s also used for so many other things. If you mine coal it ruins the earth and peoples lungs. Trees don’t grow fast enough. It’s one huge dilema. I pray things don’t get bad enough to evacuate. I’m praying hard for you and the people of Japan. Thank you for keeping us updated. (((hugs)))

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Lucy, thanks for your kind words and prayers. It means a lot to me. I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be- we’ll just have to wait and see, but for now no embassies have ordered evacuations. Luckily, as US citizens, there are naval and airforce bases close to where we live that will (probably) be able to play a role in evacuation if need be.

  6. Minta says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re still doing okay. I keep seeing all the headlines and stories and worry about everyone over there and particularly think of you. Like Lucy, you’re the only one I know (even if only from your blog) over there so you come to mind first every time I see the headlines/stories. I just saw one that said that radiation levels in Tokyo are elevated but nothing to worry about yet. Good luck and know that we’re all keeping you and everyone over there in our thoughts!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thank you, Minta. We’re all getting these really conflicting reports. It looks like a pretty bad situation but no one is ordering evacuation yet. My bag is packed with my passport but I’m expecting not to need it.

  7. Nixxy says:

    You are SO hardcore! We’ve been seeing conflicting headlines and the news keeps on trotting out different “experts” to give differing opinions on what’s going on. It’s annoying for us – I can’t imagine what it’s like for you! Glad to see you’re safe – please keep us updated and take care xx

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      🙂 Thanks, Nixxy. The conflicting stories are getting pretty stressful. Most Japanese can’t speak or understand a lick of anything besides Japanese, so they’re trying to figure out the foreign media because they’ve lost all trust in the national broadcasters.

  8. Rabbit says:

    You are very brave. I would for sure not be so brave as you. I hope this nightmare is over soon and nobody more will be injured.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thank you, Rabbit. We’re actually much better off than the folks up north. Temperatures went below freezing and they are still without electricity and water.

  9. Jace says:

    Glad you’re safe. Thank you for keeping us updated about how you are doing.

  10. I’m so relieved to hear that you are OK! I have been on spring break vacation with no real access to internet and have been really worried about you. I just read all your posts and are glad that you were relatively ok. You are much stronger than I, as I think I would have been long gone if possible. Please keep us up to date – LOVE YOU!!

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Aww. thanks Brooke! Love to you too gal! We’re actually doing OK here and trying to stay relatively normal but if I had a handsome guy like Little and sweet doggies like Bananas and Dinky, I’d have been on the first plane out of here!

  11. mama san says:

    Please leave that hh as soon as you can or else yer nails won’t be the only thing that’s green. Skin frankened to match would not be a good thing.


    a concerned RR

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      My skin is so pale it’s practically green anyway! Maybe if I had real green skin I could finally wear those bright coral shades that always clashed. But seriously, we’re not on the verge of glowing just yet. I promise.

      We’re doing fine here and are keeping an eye on the US Embassy website.

  12. Diane says:

    So glad you’re safe…Thanks for the updates. {{hugz}}

  13. Michael says:

    I think you should get as many closed containers (empty water, pop bottles) and fill them with water. Stack them all against your outside wall. Stack books, heavy dense things against it. (I’m assuming you live in an apartment). I hope you have running water. Get as much now as you can. If the wind changes, or things get real bad, the water supply could get contaminated. So save some now.

    If things get bad for radiation and the wind blows the wrong way, the major problem will be fallout for as long as it falls, plus 12 to 24 hours.
    If it happens, stay as far away from outside walls as you can. If you have a basement storage or a 2nd or third level underground parking, it might be a good place. Or just build a fort out of everything you have that’s heavy and dense. Books, paper, water. Put the best side toward the closest outside wall/roof.

    This won’t be a problem unless the wind changes, and those rods are exposed and burning. The ash will fall on roofs and ground and stick to the sides of buildings, while emitting radiation. Even then, it may not be a big problem if its low level. The ash, will be radioactive for 12 – 24 hours, unless the rain washes it away. Even so, you might not have a big problem. This information is for nuclear bombs, and the ash from the rods might be radioactive longer, or shorter. I don’t know. They said on the news it would be radioactive cesium, and that’s dangerous until it gets washed away by rain.

    Remember, food and water can be irradiated and be good to eat, but if radioactive ash falls on the water, or in food, or grass cows eat, its contaminated and not safe. Water in a bottle, sitting near an outside wall would be safe to drink, even after lots of radiation, as long as its covered.

    I’m not trying to be alarmist, its as hard for me here to tell whats going on as it is for you there. But seriously, if you have running water, hoard as much as you can in sealed containers.

    I hope for your sake, and the others in Japan and vicinity it doesn’t get that bad.

    • nevertoomuchglitter says:

      Thanks for the very detailed yet totally horrifying advice. Actually, I’ve done just that with the water. We have about 20l worth of bottles and some in the 110l bathtub in case the power goes out for a long time. So far, we’ve had no electricity issues.

      Tokyo looks pretty normal, except for the aftershocks, power cuts and people staying inside. We were spared the brunt of it for sure. But better safe than sorry!

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