Touching Base

Between the damage done by the typhoon last week and a freak wave of work that slammed over my desk quite unexpectedly, I just haven’t felt like writing lately.
It’s kinda depressing driving around because the traffic is really bad – the drive to work usually takes less than 15 minutes, but now it takes up to an hour. Last week I mentioned that a couple bridges had broken, but it turns out that several more suffered structural damage that wasn’t seen at first and have since been closed to traffic. Road conditions have been appalling – the thick layers of river silt on the asphalt dried out the first few days after the typhoon, which of course resulted in terrific dust storms kicked up by traffic. Then it started raining again yesterday, resetting the cycle of state change. The downpour lasted for a full day and had several predictable yet wholly unwelcome effects. Drying mud that had been piled to the side of roads and buildings for later removal (recycling?) slowly reverted to sludge, seeping outward once again. Great piles of trash consisting of shorted appliances, waterlogged tatamis, and soiled books, clothes, and furniture of every shape and size but of uniform color (cafe au lait), all the refuse discarded by the those whose homes were ruined, grew heavy with water and toppled into the streets, swimming in the pools of freshly liberated mud.
And that’s about all I want to say at this point. What can I say? I can only wax mad about mud for so long before it starts affecting my mood since, you know, I feel like I’m living in it. But that’s hardly fair – my house wasn’t even damaged. I met up with my personnel manager today, and she really was living in caveman conditions until yesterday, when they used a firehose to clear her house of mud. I asked if I could lend a hand in some way, but she said that unless I had some brilliant way to make her insurance company cover damages instead of using the fine print to fuck her, no (but39-4asking).
The river overflowing had one positive effect that I can see, the rice paddies are positively EXPRODING with crop! Never mind that it’s probably too late to harvest, the vibrant green patches dotting the muted landscape nicely break up the monotony and have gained my respect: Rice plants are some seriously tough, photosynthesizin’-ass playaz. And as an added bonus, I now know what an Egyptian farmer must feel like.

3 thoughts on “Touching Base

  1. It does seem depressing, especially right before winter hits…all that mess and mud, bad traffic and crooked insurance companies. I wonder how severe climate changes have shifted in other places, like Thailand…would you get flooded out there, too? Mammoth is open; Big Bear too. Earliest snowfall in history, ever. Bad tidings for the northern climes….it’s a global mess.

  2. My hometown is Sumoto city.
    And it seems that you live in there too.
    I heard that the damage the last typhoon brought was terrible from my mom on the telephone.
    I was really shocked to see your pictures which shows how terrible my hometown was damaged.
    I hope you would deliver interestilng local informatihon.
    At last, I like your sense of humor.

  3. Thanks, hokuto. I’ll update with more photos and posts soon. Don’t worry, there are volunteers coming from all over Japan to help us build Sumoto back up again. I just hope that we get enough support from the government this time…

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