Postcards from Japan (1)

Dear mom,

Given the three weeks that it normally takes for mail to travel from South East Asia to Canada, this seems like the best possible way to share my postcards with you. (Having said that, the Japanese are so amazingly efficient that they may have invented postal time travel that allows post cards to arrive at their destination before you have actually sent them!)

We arrived in Yokohama on the afternoon of Monday 11 April to visit the city and school that we’ll start calling home in August. This is the lovely view of the harbour and downtown Yokohama from our hotel room. About an hour after we arrived, we experiences our first earthquake – a 7.4 in the North. This was my fourth earthquake; the others were in Cali in Colombia, Ottawa and Bangkok just a few weeks ago. Do you remember how you and I both felt shaky after the earthquake in Ottawa last summer? Weirdly, I didn’t experience the same fear/relief in Yokohama. DP and I opened the door to the hotel room and stood in the hallway outside our bathroom where there was nothing that could fall off the walls or tip over. The shaking lasted for about 30 seconds.

A few minutes later, the front desk called us to check that we were okay.  DP said, “Yes, we’re fine. Should we come down?” (We were on the 9th floor.) The front desk clerk assured us that it was perfectly safe to stay in our room.

Shortly afterward, we met a friend and went out to dinner and to an IB art exhibit for our new school.

In spite of experiencing one of the strongest earthquakes felt in Yokohama since 11 March 2011, we have both begun to fall in love with Yokohama and with the Japanese people who treated us with great respect and care.


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