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How have the earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis affected your lifestyle?

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Spending a lot less time worrying about trivial things.

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Water, bottled water,in shikoku it,s scarce,but that,s the only thing so can,t complain....

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Thinking twice before switching on a light or using an electric appliance.

Saying silent thanks for my substantial, nutritious hot meal every evening - regardless of the lack of spinach or leaves for the salad.

And like hokkaidoguy, not worrying about the things that don't really matter.

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Reluctantly, I haven't been spending money in places that desperately need business - such as restaurants, shops, etc. I tend to go home earlier.

I had been watching news nonstop but am now getting tired of the same old reports on the nuclear plant, and started watching DVDs again.

At least once a week so far, I have visited an evacuee shelter in Saitama and chatted with evacuees to try and help them mentally. I realized that what they want most of all is not food and clothes; they have tons of that now. They want to know what they'll do; can they find jobs; can their kids go to school? And yet they can't think beyond one day at a time.

It has certainly made me grateful to have a job. A month ago, I was griping about my low salary and how I couldn't afford to buy some new items from Bic Camera. I no longer feel that way.

The tragedy has also tested my faith. As a devout Catholic, I find events like this hard to reconciliate but I still go to church on Sundays and the sense of community remains very strong. In the end, it will probably strengthen my faith.

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Nothing will change people's lifestyles except in the short term. And oh yeah I say a little thanks for my food....not.

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Last night on TV they were talking about a process by which west Japan can convert their 60mhz electricity to 50mhz and sent it to us in the east and it might avoid the planned black outs in the summer.

As for my lifestyle change, I go to movies in the afternoon because late shows have all been canceled.

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Saw this program RobertCB, but they were saying that the plant is operating at full capacity now. To increase capacity would take 5~10 years. It would be quicker in the meantime to build conventional fossil fuel power stations, they were saying.

We were super conscious already about switching off lights. In my office I had gotten used to airconditioning set at 28 degrees in recent summers. My wife won't let me switch on the aircon winter or summer at home. My bedroom is always cold throughout the winter. Up to 9 degrees this morning, though!

I didn't use the kotatsu once this winter. (My wife lived in it) What else can I do now?

PS As a result of this JT question, I have just switched off my office fluorescent lighting. Six striplights. This will be my 2011 resolution. Thanks! :8)

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I have never spent much time thinking about my food source in Japan; it's been always available, easy to access WHEN I want it, and there has been a huge variety (in Tokyo, if not in the outlying prefectures) from. Now when I go to the supermarket and can't buy yogurt or eggs readily unless I get up early and head out as soon as the supermarket opens, it really has me thinking about how fragile our lifestyle really is.

There has been very little actual change for me and it seems strange that only 250km away there is occurring a disaster on unprecedented levels, while Tokyo carries on almost as if it were "business as usual".

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Thinking about what is necessary and what is not. Communities are really important. You can't do anything alone. Appreciate everybody around you. Insomnia, I get up about 3 times nowadays from nightmares. I never used a lot of electricity but I am even using less now. I fill half of the bathtub. Thanks to AC I say Konnichiwa to everyone. I hug my hubby a lot more.

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@smartacus

At least once a week so far, I have visited an evacuee shelter in Saitama and chatted with evacuees to try and help them mentally. I realized that what they want most of all is not food and clothes; they have tons of that now. They want to know what they'll do; can they find jobs; can their kids go to school? And yet they can't think beyond one day at a time.

How are you received? I would like to do something besides donating money but I would not like to be in the way or cause anybody any further problems that they already have. What shelter have you been visiting? Is there a list of shelters on the net?

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Thinking twice before switching on a light or using an electric appliance.

That's true. I stopped using the aircon since the earthquake. I've only used it in the winter, hardly at all in the summer (use a fan instead), and even then, it's on the weakest setting. And, in general, just be grateful that we've only be inconvenienced, and not directly affected by the tsunami.

All this hasn't changed or tested my faith. Still agnostic. Friends, family and colleagues have kept me strong.

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Snowboarding is a little worrisome because everybody keeps wondering about radioactive snow. Seriously!

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Reformedbasher

I visited the Saitama Super Arena and I also visited a large hall at a Catholic church in Roppongi. I was received very well. You just talk to them, ask them about their families, what their job was and they like it. They don't get that sort of interaction from Japanese officials.

The children were fun to play with but they quickly get bored.

I also noticed that many evacuees don't like each other, which is understandable. They are moved around from place to place and in these large shelters, there is no privacy. You sleep about a meter away from your neighbor and there are all sorts of complaints about noise, bad habits, hygiene, etc. You never see this on the TV reports.

At the Roppongi church hall, some of the evacuees started helping the parishioners make rice cakes to feed the homeless people in Tokyo, which the churches have been doing every day for 20 years. It helps the evacuees feel useful and lifts their spirits.

Definitely, the psychological factor is crucial and the sooner they can get a place to live, even a prefab dwelling, and the hope for a job, they can start the long process of healing the trauma.

It has certainly been an eye-opening and learning experience for me.

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More concious of using electrical appliances and what i am eating and where it's from.

Keep an eye on the daily news reports and radiation levels in different areas.

I hear many municipalities have cancelled hamami festivals which is a bad idea, i think times like this people need the festival atmosphere to lighten the mood, etc.

Also dont go out to the bar so much as they have had power outtages a couple of times and I hear the rugby 7s and a few other events scheduled for this month have been cancelled too.

Life still needs to go on and pople still need to have enjoyment and social activity.

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@ smartacus

Thanks for the information. What is the situation with the Saitama Super Arena? I thought the evacuaees were being moved elsewhere?

PS. I'm no longer religious but God bless you for doing the right thing.

Moderator: Readers, please note that the evacuees were moved out of Saitama Super Arena on March 31.

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Found the Foreign Volunteers Japan blog on Google. I'll keep an eye on it!

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I watch TV endlessly showing the same sort of news over and over. Read too much articles on the internet about people who survived the disaster and who didn't. It's depressing to see whole lines of open shelves at supermarkets or convenis. Tend to ride bicycles more rather than take the car out for a drive. It's hard to get back to what life was like before 3.11...

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I'm cycling now, whereas before I was...cycling.

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I stop myself griping about life in general here in Japan. Give thanks that I wasn't one of the people up north.

Genuinely has made me appreciate life just that little bit more.

There but for the grace of God, go I. Although I'm in no way religious.

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Power outages and reduced trains is the biggest change.

Last night on TV they were talking about a process by which west Japan can convert their 60mhz electricity to 50mhz and sent it to us in the east and it might avoid the planned black outs in the summer.

60mhz? Wow, those turbines must really be screaming! Try 60Hz. That would be very good if they could. I guess they can turn it into DC and then invert it back to AC at 50Hz. I wonder how long it would take to build that. Rather short sighted to have two incompatible systems.

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We use our fireplace for more cooking than before-we've been camping in our lounge room. All kerosene heaters have been turned off and we can handle the cold alright. The kids have now become very adept at waking in the middle of the night for a earthquake; I make them get up each time to drill it into them. Before, it was very difficult to wake them and get them quickly standing in alert mode. And I wont be using co-op anymore, because they cant deliver the goods as it would seem other places get first deal, and that has been very inconvenient in considering food and grocery supply.I think I will just stick with stocking the pantry and buying locally from now on, as they seemed to have the goods stocked better than co-op, where I am at.

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Not much difference here.

We always been low on using lights, aircon, etc. Granted we are using the microwave, etc less now. As for food, we tend to buy for atleast 4-6 weeks in advance besides some veggies, etc. So the larder is always well stocked for foods we can cook quickly without additional shopping.

In the evening we don't use a heater, etc. Simply slip into the sleeping bags and sit at the PC or lie on the beds watching TV. Nice, comfy and warm.

Neither of us is panicky and son showed it when leader of his class totally lost it on the 11th, granted there was one evening when he was a bit spooked. I keep him informed and we discuss the news, etc.

Both of us are used to getting by without electricity and we got a lot of camping supplies so we can cook even if electricity and gas is cut.

Locally things are back to normal now with full supplies in the stores, etc. And we haven't had a single blackout as yet, but are ready for when they do happen.

As for summer we survived the last one without and air-con(got a small one) and can do so again this year.

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Forgot to add.

Checking daily with local radiation monitoring station via the net.

In addition he has family in Nagoya and we are talking with family overseas daily(video-chat). So we get ways open in case the smelly brown stuff truly hits the spinning thingy as my family will move mountains to get us out.

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Yes!This has made me question authority,especially in Japan!If the triple whammy of earthquake,tsunami and radiation sickness don't kill you, the other problems of starvation and exposure will.The residents of the affected prefectures are actually going to starve to death or die from exposure. There is no mandatory evacuation from the central government yet fuel supplies and food aid is not being transported in sufficient quantities for the citizens. Companies nor government are not providing sufficient aid for whatever reason.;fear of radiation or lack of coordination is causing extreme hardship in Tohoku. This is causing me to doubt the meaning of my existence!

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Coming to JT and finding a forum of what people are feeling, what all they are going through.

Knowing it may be a while before there is a position open for me to move to Japan. I will wait. Teacher.

Opening up my old Chemistry books and leaving them out. Tracking down the elements as they come up and their effects. Hating the situation and sometimes the people I don't even know. Getting myself to settle down about that.

Eyes front with optimism as a functional barrier. Waiting for the next articles.

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Neither of us is panicky and son showed it when leader of his class totally lost it on the 11th

Zenny, I'm sure you're a proud dad and all, but beating your chest over a fellow elementary school student panicing during a magnitude-9 earthquake is not becoming..

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"Zenny, I'm sure you're a proud dad and all, but beating your chest over a fellow elementary school student panicing during a magnitude-9 earthquake is not becoming.."

horsefella, I think we're all allowing alot of forgiveness here. There is alot going on and a great deal to take in.

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My lifestyle has changed by doing stuff to help the people in the north. I'm obviously more careful with the electricity and don't put my heater on but basically I've got involved. I'm helping those people in a number of ways.

Lot's of people say I wish there was something I can do, well you can. Whether it be go to shelters and talk, raise money, volunteer or go to the north to help (take aid, help clean up) etc. Lots can be done.

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Hoserfella.

Lets just say the elected Class-leader refused to come out from under his desk for 1hr after the quake. And he was the only child like that. My son got elected new class-leader 2 days later. Am I proud of him, you can bet on it.

So you don't like it, bite me. ;)

Or even better tell us how the event changed your life. As this is what the topic is all about.

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I've also discovered that despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary, people will still believe what they want to

The residents of the affected prefectures are actually going to starve to death or die from exposure.

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no change

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Afraid of what is not being told truthfully by TEPCO and why they are delaying action to stop this.

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There is still no gas supply in my part of Sendai, so there is no heating, hot water or home cooking. Also, milk and dairy products are very scarce. Practicalities aside, I'm impressed by the civic reasonableness of people.

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Zenny, how has it changed my life, you ask? I've been shocked at some posters here on JT who use the situation to further live vicariously through their children. Absolutely shocked..

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I live in Yokohama and work for the US Government and stayed during the recent crises. I still try to maintain my daily lifestyle and spend an occasional weekend in Tokyo. I noticed that Tokyo is less crowded then usual which I can understand, but one thing that bothers me is that some establishments MUSE Bar in Nishi Azabu refused me entrance. The two Japanese guys at the door kept yelling at me no military (US). I guess my Jones of New York business attire that I was wearing was somehow misinterpreted as being hip-hop gear. Or maybe it was my lack of an ghetto-ish entourage (that I don’t have or hangout with), since most of my foreign friends had departed Japan weeks earlier. I tired explaining to them and showing that I was a US government employee, but to no avail. I guess based on the two idiot id checkers at MUSE they should go to Fukushima and bar the US military or anyone they feel is US military from assisting with humanitarian aid to Japan. I have been in Japan for eight years and of course MUSE is not the only place to hangout. ALIFE Rocks!!

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