Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The day the earth moved aka Japan Day 3 part 2

We at this stage were trying to get a signal on S' mobile to call our parents but to no avail - we later discovered the mobile networks had been knocked out when we saw a queue some 70 long for our hotel payphone. S then recalled the lobby had wi-fi so I took his phone into the centre of the lobby and manage to get a signal to logon to facebook - I figured this would be the quickest and fastest way to relay to our families that we were ok. Within 10 minutes I had 41 comments on my status from family and friends. I also looked up smh.com.au to find out what was actually happening in Japan and it was here that I found out about the horrific tsunami in the North. We remained in the restaurant until about 8:30/9pm when we were allowed back to our rooms - they had to check all of them before allowing us access again. Now the Sunroute has a pretty big marble lobby and I was shocked to see every available inch of space taken up by people stranded in the city due to the train lines being closed down and gridlock on the streets. These poor people had nowhere else to go and it was some 0 degrees outside. Of particular upset to me was a young Japanese mother I noticed, crying quietly with an older woman and a little baby on her chest. S and I headed upstairs once allowed so that we could use our room phone to call our parents and access our laptop to get more news. Our parents were understandably freaking out and I cried on the phone speaking to them. I also personally emailed my best friends and sister to let them know details and we took the time to call the DFAT line (which was pretty much a waste of time). After getting this all done, I didn't want to be in the room (scared of more shaking) so we headed back down to the lobby to see if we could do anything or help anyone. I pointed out the Japanese lady with her baby to S and he, knowing what a bleeding heart I am, read my mind and asked me if I wanted to offer her our room so that she and the baby could rest and be warm. I agreed and went to speak to the lady and in broken Japanese/english, managed to convey our offer. She cried and told us we were very kind but she was waiting for her husband. We told her our room number just in case anything changed and on our way back to the room, we met a lady and her young daughter from Gatton, Brisbane who had been out shopping in our area for the day and now had no way to get back to their hotel over 30 mins drive away. We chatted to the mother and daughter for awhile and I kept an eye on the Japanese lady and baby. When her husband arrived, I told S I was going to try again and see if she would take our room - I just couldn't bare the thought of that poor lady sitting in the lobby after such a frightening event with a little baby to care for as S and I have lots of friends with babies and we would hate for them to be in that situation. I managed to explain to her husband our offer and they both cried and he helped me insist that she take the baby up to the room and rest while he would stay in the lobby. When we got to the room, she was clearly exhausted and so grateful to be able to rest comfortably in the warmth. Heading back to the lobby I found S chatting to our new found friends from Gatton and made myself comfortable on the floor realising this is where I would spend the night. At about 2am, the Japanese lady from our room found us and explained her brother had managed to drive into the city to pick them up so they were going home. They thanked us profusely and gave us our room key back. A Japanese business man who saw our exchange came over and introduced himself. Speaking very good english, he explained he was in Tokyo from Osaka on business and was stranded now till midnight Saturday night when he could catch the bus home. We chatted for awhile and he told us that he was so impressed by our kindness, he would like to show us Tokyo the next day if we wanted a guide. S and I both readily accepted figuring anything was better than sitting in the hotel being scared. We made arrangements to meet our new friend in the hotel lobby the next morning and then we went to ask our Gatton friends if they would like to sleep in our room on the carpet at least for the night. Our Gatton friends were quick to accept our offer rather than remain in the cold busy lobby and we all headed up to the room to get some rest. In the room I found a beautiful thank you note from our Japanese friend and a photo of her baby - Yuna, 4 months old. We all fell asleep quite quickly from exhaustion although we did wake several times due to aftershock tremors.
this is our bathroom after the quake - my bottle of Chanel No.5 was brand new :(


  1. I can't begin to put into words the emotion you have caused me through reading this.
    My goodness, this is just so, so terrible to read - I can't imagine how you and S would have felt throughout.

    I've been to Japan, and the people are just the kindest, most loving, beautiful people I've ever met - you're so lovely to have offered your room.

    I'm so glad you're ok, but sorry you had to go through such a thing.


  2. I'm sure you agree that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is a very small price to pay for your safety and being back home.
    But gee that comment and the photo shows us somehow what you have just been through.

  3. Thanks for your kind comments. It was a terrifying experience but we are just so lucky to be safe and have so much sadness for the people in the Miyagi prefecture. Japan is such an amazing country with the most beautiful of people. Definitely not upset about losing the perfume, just a demo of some very minor damage.

  4. What a terrifying experience.

    I am so glad you are safe and well.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog