Sunday, 20 March 2011

Saturday 19th March 2011

A friend of Christopher Robin`s says that the main effects of the quake/tsunami/reactor disasters will be economic, that Japan is about to enter a nuclear winter without having experienced a nuclear explosion. His friend is a lecturer on nuclear issues in Tokyo, where he is staying put.

Christopher Robin makes us Avocado milkshakes from a recipe he was taught as a boy by his Sri Lankan maid. (His family have two maids.) He loves cooking but says that at home he never had to think about food. It just arrived. He didn`t clean either.

But Saturday is cleaning day. He gives me a cloth and tells me to wipe all the surfaces. Then he gives me a wet cloth and tells me to wipe all the surfaces again. Then he sparingly sprays the bathtub and I wipe it with a dry cloth and then a wet cloth. (He doesn`t like using chemical cleaning products.) These are his small rituals to cope with the chaos of my presence in his apartment.

In the afternoon, we go to his university where a group of us record a radio podcast that I have written about Japan and academic life. Then we go out to dinner (again). I ask my Japanese friends if they are worried about Fukushima radiation but they say they are worried about the fact that the Hamaoka nuclear power station is just up the road, and that the quakes seem to be making their way down the country. To prove their point that night we have, not a quake, but a jolt.

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