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Life, post-quake

The new normal in Tokyo is to have a rucksack with emergency supplies at the front door, just in case there's another big quake. I say "in case", but I should rather say "when". I'm not sure how many people still do this, more than a year later, and I'm not entirely convinced that it will help, but ... at least it's a token attempt at reassuring myself that I'm not ignoring reality.

I'm neither wise nor paranoid enough to keep piles of canned "sea chicken" (tuna), bottled water and toilet paper at home. I've put emergency food in the bag, but this morning – when I wanted to take a photo of some of the contents – I realized that the Soyjoy had expired earlier this month. So I ate it. Grin. I have no concerns about old food, since I happen to think Japan's food expiry dates are overly cautious. Anyway, I'm from Africa, so my stomach long ago realized that either it copes with dodgy stuff, or else we both die.

Why am I not convinced an emergency bag will help? This is Tokyo. We spend less time at home than at work, and what good will it do if I'm on one of my frequent walks when the quake strikes?


I've tried to put chocolate and peanut butter (high energy food, not heavy) in the bag, but it's a waste of effort: they get consumed within two days.

What else do I have in there? Water, warm clothes, cash, small flashlight, batteries, mobile phone charger, an old pair of glasses, some toiletries.

Crikey. I wonder if the batteries are still OK?

Maybe I should add my passport or another form of ID? If all hell breaks loose, I hope I remember to take my handbag as well. The Hero will grab his fishing gear.


Do not laugh – I repeat, do NOT – when I tell you that I've also put a copy of TLOTR in the bag. It occupies too much space, but if you're stuck in a wasteland, you should have something to read! I considered adding The Tale of Genji, another very thick book that should keep me occupied for a while, but then I won't have space for food.

Hmm. Maybe I can throw out the warm clothes?

PS: If you wondering about the boxes in the top photo, the passage from the genkan to the living room is lined with boxes full of books. I'll get bookshelves one day. Promise. Heh. If those boxes tumble during a quake, getting out won't be possible, but at least there will be lots to read.

PPS: The two bronze lions are from West-Africa. They're my African koma-inu.

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