Oh, wait the earthquake. Now as I was saying.
For me, the earthquake didn’t affect me at all until the afternoon when I had to take a train (a local train) to work in a neighboring town. My husband told me all the trains were running late and whatnot, so get there early. I did. I was there an hour early. I asked the train man about my train, and he said in Japanese, “I don’t think it looks good for that train.” (Not giving me a yes or no answer as to whether it was running.)
So he told me to get on the next train immediately. “Kore kara” was the expression he used, which sort of means, “From now.” So I went to my platform and got on the train, which started off immediately. But it was going in the wrong direction! I was on the wrong train!
I got off at the first stop, waiting a half hour, and returned to Fukushima Station. So I planned to take my regular train, but I was told it was “unkyuu”
That’s a really important word to know if you are travelling in Japan. My dictionary says, “unkyuu 運休 service suspended (e.g. trains)*
So I couldn’t get on my regular train. I had to take a later train and ended up arriving five minutes before my class started.
And then after teaching, I had to return home. The return train was about thirty minutes late. When I boarded, I discovered it was ridiculously jam packed. So So So crowded. (Trains never get crowded in Fukushima. They get crowded in Tokyo, but not Fukushima.) When I say crowded, I don’t mean just sort of crowded. I mean like sardines in a can, like you are right up next to each others’ body parts and pressing on each other, with no alternative–because there is simply NO ROOM.
So the trains were for me the worst of the earthquake. Not really that bad at all, considering that of course it could have been much worse. (The house falling on to me, for instance.) I’m not complaining, just letting you know what to expect when there is an earthquake in Japan. (Although if it is a REALLY major earthquake the trains will not be running at all.)
*My trains have been “unkyuu” before due to high winds. Any number of reasons will cause train service to be suspended. Usually Japanese trains are punctual, but of course not always. Safety first!