Sunday, March 13, 2011

Survived!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your concern, I appreciate the well wishes from everyone. I was really fortunate to get out of Tokyo on Sunday afternoon and I flew to Seattle which was the first flight available to get out I leave to go home to NYC tomorrow.
When the earthquake hit I just finished having lunch at Ikanika in Jiyugaoka and I started walking around taking photographs and the birds and dogs were going crazy then I saw trees quivering and I realized what was happening so I started running down the hill away from the buidlings into the middle of the street. People were running out of their homes and one older woman saw hat I was hysterical like her and she hugged me through the earthquake. It went on and on and stronger and wouldn't stop, it was much longer than then any other earthquake. The earth looked like it was going to break apart. After it stopped I walked toward the train station not sure what to do, not speaking Japanese and really not knowing where the one or two people I had just met in Japan where. I was alone and unable to ask for help, so I just started crying and trting to call the U.S., of course the phones couldn't get a signal. I kept walking and along the way three different women came to see if I was okay and walked with me. By the train station which is in a large rotunda I met a very sweet couple Naoko and Gary who hungout with me after the first large aftershock for the rest of the afternoon. The earthquake happened at 2:45pm and around 6:45pm we finally got word that the trains wouldn't start running until the morning, so we decided we wouldn't wait much longer to set off to start walking home. I didn't have a map nor gps so Gary and Naoko walked with me for half an hour til the next station and the plan after that was they head off to Gary's place and I keep walking to Nakameguro following the tracks. Unfortunately, after two blocks you couldn't follow the tracks so I just logically decided to follow the oncoming crowd backwards assuming they were probably coming from the Nakameguro station and Shibuya. It was freezing and windy, and the tremors weren't felt as bad on the street. Finally after walking for an hour and half I reached Meguro city which meant I was 5 minutes from my apartment. Got there, tremors were every 5 minutes and I was terrified. But I was able to get through to the states through my wifi and the race to get me out of Japan started. My partner stayed on Skype with me for 15 hours becaues I was so scared and exhausted. I frantically packed in hopes of getting out but logically knew that with the airport closed i was stuck. Facebook helped me connect with tons of friends of friends in Tokyo and Skype was my lifeline to my family. Wifi was the only from of communication and its not readily available in Tokyo so I didn't want to leave my apartment and lose touch with the U.S.. I didn't sleep at all. But I decided I needed to stay with a friend so I went to Nerima to Jennifer's house which she was so awesome to give me her bed and try to normalize the situation with going out to dinner, neither one of us had eaten in 24 hours. We also went to the supermarket and 24hr convienence stores and they were out of almost everything, this happened in Nakameguro also but even earlier, people are scared and know food will run out. After dinner we went to sleep early and at 3am I got a call from my partner and aunt and they got booked in two flights one as a back up. After that it was a race back to my apt in central Tokyo to grab my stuff and then to the airport. Apparently another earthquake happened while I was in the Narita express that didn't affect my train when I was 20 mins away from the airport. I got there early and I thought I wouldn't get on my plane because of the amount of people waiting on line, but I did and I got to Seattle safely, now back to New York! I have to thank everyone for their help, but most of all Debra and my Aunt Raquel who didn't sleep or eat for almost three days to get me on a plane, thank you.

xoxo
Jannese

- Posted by misskitty1970

2 comments:

  1. Roberto VillalobosMarch 13, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Hey J.Ro,
    I am so happy to hear that you are ok!
    Welcome back to the US.
    :)

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  2. You’re very welcome, we love you and we wanted you home. You had lots of Angels guiding you in Tokyo and the States. The compassion of stranger brought tears to my eye but then again I saw it in NY in 911 and the blackouts in NYC. In NY we have to dearly thank Jay from First in Service travel that basically was as dedicated as Debra and I.
    The human race is amazing only if they finally get it.
    I believe in “Paying forward” because you never know who you will touch and when it will be return to you.
    Love you and glad that you are back in USA and home tonight.
    -:) Your aunt Raquel

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