Dear Diary II – Post Japan

Whoa, so as we leave a day early from Japan, due to the massive 9.0 earthquake and risks of a nuclear disaster, there are a bucket load of thoughts running through my mind. So I decided it was time for a dear diary sequel (well actually a rant, so apologies in advance).

After seeing such catostrophic scenes on television, which looked like they were right out of the movie”2012″ and feeling one freaking heavy earthquake, it puts life into perspective!

The truth is we all bow down to mother earth and in any one second the world could destroy everything that humanity has created! How do you react to that?

Well, if you are a chyk, all of what I’m going to say is obvious, but it truly shows attachment to worlds materialistic possessions isn’t going to ensure you live a happy life…The 500000 homeless people from the tsunami can vouch for that!

Its time to take a fresh approach, and see life as an opportunity… an opportunity maybe not driven by JUST materialistic goals…the house and money are great things, don’t get me wrong…but isn’t living a life of self-fulfillment and enjoyment more important…

I mean how many times do we say “I really wish I could do that” to say either “but I can’t” or “later”. Well this is a wake up call to me anyway…get up and go get what you want…do the things you’ve always wanted to and appreciate life NOW! No excuses…coz you choose the directions you follow in the map of life, no one else does!

This leads me onto the people of Japan, who are without question, some of the nicest people we have come across!

And sometimes when you need help to achieve goals, these are the kinds of people you want in your life to set a great example for all of us.

To give you an idea of what I mean, this is some of things me and Anj, spotted along the way!

1. Whenever on a train, if an older person or people with children come aboard, one of the Japanese always gets up an offers a seat.

Yep I know you maybe thinking we have a seat for that in the UK, but how many people actually do it and show that form of selflessness when the train is busy?

2. They switch their phones to silent in trains, and never take a phonecall on the train. Now can you imagine that in london, where let’s face it we’re addicted to talking on our cell phones!?

They respect other people on the train! And it means you get to chill out and have a good conversation with others with you.

3. Eating on the move is not looked at favourably! If they buy take away, they stop somewhere and take the time to eat, rather than rushing their food as they walk!

WHAT’S THAT? You should take time out to actually relax and eat! Yep shocked me too!

4. Whenever we needed help, someone went out of their way to help us out…doesn’t matter if they couldn’t understand! They simply wanted to help!

And even if you went into a shop, and didn’t buy anything, the store owner still takes the time to converse, smile with you and wish you the best for your journey ahead! So nice!

5. After the tsunami and the quake, so many Japanese went to help their fellow country men.

And there was no looting, but a willingness to help others and share with others what they had, even if it wasn’t much!

Have to say that credit also has to go to the rescue workers from all over the world and those in the nuclear plant, risking their lives to save others!

This attitude, which I summarize by respect for others (others don’t have to EARN your respect, you already should have respect for others feelings and thoughts), kindness, politeness, selflessness and patience is something we all could demonstrate a little more of.

And on top of all that, taking time to savour the life we have with smiles and laughter is important!

That may sound cheesy, but to be honest, I don’t really care if being cheesy isn’t fashionable especially if it means we are living a life of happiness and bringing more happiness to others!

Its not easy, but I truly want to do more selfless deeds, with zero expectation in return!

Yes, even though we may say we already do that, do we really, or do we later get annoyed at someone and list all the nice things we’ve done for them in an argument, or expect that they should have been nicer to you?

That’s for you to decide.

I believe selfless helping will make our world a better place and is something we could all do more of!

Many people will argue against it by saying that they worry people may take advantage of you…well if you’re not expecting anything in return and are doing things for people out of the kindness of your heart, being taken advantage of doesn’t exist!

It doesn’t matter how they act towards you, because you have zero expectations back!

So there you have it, start appreciating and savouring life and what you have. Thank your parents, God, and whoever else you need to, for the life you have! And go out, do selfless deeds and live life to the full!

Coz in reality that’s all we have – the life WE CHOOSE to live!

Let me know your thoughts guys, drop your comments below!

Reacting with the nuclear!

“The nuclear power plants are having a few issues which are fully under control and pose no risk to the public”…. Switch over to bbc.co.uk…. “Experts are predicting that the nuclear situation in Japan is increasingly worsening and could possibly lead to a disaster like Chernobyl if not managed immediately… Only essential travel to Japan recommended.”

Right! Initially we thought that the UK media was blowing the Fukushima power plant situation out of proportion because let’s face it, the worse the situation, the more the interest… So we went along our merry way relaxing in Osaka…

It’s true there isn’t much to see there in the way of sights but it is a fun city to hang around in, eat good food, check out the shops and admire the Japanese youth culture… By that we mean, check out what the girls and guys wear here… Knee high socks are like a uniform and as for what you wear them with, the shorter the better and don’t forget the super high heels or over the knee boots… How disgraceful… I LOVED IT! Lol … To see more of the Japanese fashion statement check out D* (will check name). It was pretty fun here.

Apart from that, we ventured to Den Den, Osaka’s answer to technology town… Far from impressed… And hung around Umeda, the business side of town (well that’s what they said).. We were lucky enough to have booked a super cheap rate at a business hotel in this district, which we eventually found right behind ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and next door to ‘Girl’s Bar’. Charming! Highly recommend it!!

That night in Osaka, we felt the room shake… Oi, oi, not what you’re thinking.. 3 days since the big earthquake, another earthquake hit near Tokyo but we felt it 12 hours away in Osaka… This was on top of the aftershocks being felt in Tokyo on an hourly basis. Despite me trying to convince Rishi it was probably a train taking a detour underneath our hotel (?!(@? He wasn’t buying it either) we knew that the situation was getting worse. The Fukushima nuclear plant was not doing so well in controlling its reactors either, with explosions unnerving everyone in the early hours of the morning.

Our parents (as well as friends sending messages stating bluntly ‘get out of Japan’) were obviously concerned and suggesting that we do not go back to Tokyo for our flight to China but either change it or just buy new ones from an airport near us instead. There was no point arguing anymore, going back to Tokyo didn’t sound safe (although we really wanted to)!

The hilarious irony was that the next day we were doing a day trip to Hiroshima. Yeup, where the first nuclear bomb was used on humans! The peace park has remnants of a building that was damaged by the nuclear bomb but overall is actually a beautiful park and hard to imagine what it would have looked like when the bomb hit. The museum however has some shocking images and depictions of the effect of that horrendous event. Think the pics below give an indication of how “effective” a nuclear bomb can be!

And this was technology over 50 years ago. I dread to think what new discoveries have been uncovered since then.

Walking through the place, my mind was flitting between anger at the effect of war… No-one deserves to have a nuclear bomb thrown on them but as posters in the museum admit, the Japanese were not innocent when it came to inflicting pain and suffering on other nations in that war either. So what is the need to kill people who probably did not even know what the war was for or sign up to be pawns in these evil game played by the leaders of their nations?… The other part of mind was worrying about the effects of the nuclear explosions a few hundred kms away from us if we went back to Tokyo… In these situations there’s no better solution than the fail safe “Daddy, help!”… My dad had been up since 5am calling the airlines and managed to get our flights changed so that we would leave a day early from Hiroshima instead of risking a trip to Tokyo.

Happy to be safe but sad to be leaving Japan early.

We spent our last day in Kyoto, enjoying the best chocolate doughnut (available in Kyoto station), chilling in our favourite hostel (Khaosan) and visiting our favourite indian restaurant (they had really good chai and kulfi!). (sorry for the funny pic Rish)


Sadly, we are leaving today and on our flight to Shanghai… Booo! Think we have really bonded with Japan, so much so that I feel I am abandoning them, not that I know how I would help. I hope that Japan maintains its beauty, its traditions and fantastic vibe… Without a doubt we will be back some day and next time it will be in cherry blossom season! 🙂