Since this is a blog that won't dwell on sad things, I just want to share that even with the devastation that happened in Japan, I can't help but admire what a beautiful country it is.
The hardest hit areas are supposed to be the poorer parts of the country. But look at that--the quaint homes with beautiful tiled roofs and the trees and the sea in the distance. What a lovely place!
When my fellow editors and I were watching the first few videos on CNN last Friday, we were mentally pushing the cars on the road to move faster as we saw the huge waves closing in on them fast. Clearly, we weren't telekinetic. Then someone said. "That's beautiful farmland. All gone." That's true. The acres upon acres of farms were a lovely sight until they all got swallowed up by the tsunami.
Even in distress, the Japanese are elegant and refined. And it's not just the way they're dressed! The way they reacted--calm, cooperative, disciplined, helpful of each other, orderly, no looting, no hysterics, no panic, no selfishness, no self-pity--just shows the beauty and strength of spirit of the Japanese people.
CNN reported that people were helping each other in search-and-rescue missions. When one man was asked if he'd rather wait for the government to clean up, he replied, "It is up to me to fix things. No one else will do this for me." Quite unlike us since we blame the government for every little thing. I remember there was this news bit on TV about how the strawberries from Baguio last year were smaller than usual. The woman they asked about it said, "Yung gobyerno kasi. Di nila pina-uulan." ("It's the government's fault. They didn't make it rain."). Oh well.
I also noticed how perfect the roads in Japan are. None of the pot-holed, patched-up horrors we have here. And the Japanese really know how to build! It was an 8.9 quake with a mega-tsunami following right after and still most of the buildings withstood the forces of nature. Wow! Hooray for Japanese engineering!
In the midst of all the horrors, there can still be beauty and wonder. Right now though I wish that the weather warms up for them, especially for those survivors who are still waiting to be rescued. To the beautiful people of Japan, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
*photos from The Globe and Mail. Click here to see more photos of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.