Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stuck in between two loves.

For the past few days, I've been glued to the TV and the internet. I found myself extremely agitated with the oncoming news coverage of Japan. First was the quake, then the tsunami, then the fires, then the explosions at the nuclear plants, then the radiation leaks, then the blackouts (in winter!)... I was distressed because I have friends and family (close, foster and distant) in Japan. I found myself considerably more stressed than when natural disaster happened elsewhere. And admittedly, even more than when our country's East Coast was flooded.

I started texting and emailing everyone I know, searching for them via Facebook, hoping that everyone is okay. Well, thank God everyone is okay. But how can you be in the face of such destroying force? They must be shocked, worried and scared. Not knowing what will happen for the next few days. Then I tweeted, there wasn't a time that I wanted to go back to Japan as badly as now. Because I just want to be there.

I thought about my spiritual family - I had the closest walk with God when I was in Kofu because Suzy was my spiritual mom. Then I thought about my foster parents, Mutsumi and Hideo who took me in so warmly when I was sort of left homeless for about two years. Then I thought about Future, the school I was teaching in and all the kids I taught and my 'bootcamp' boss, Ishikawa-san. Then I thought about the umpteenth time I've been in Dentsu and everyone whom I have met, the ones who really taught me the spirit of not giving up and the ones who gave me so much opportunities to pursue outside my boundaries. Then I thought about my sister-in-law's family who took me in like one of their own while I was living in Hokkaido. Then I thought about my old apartment by the river, and the serenity of nature surrounding it. Then I realized that I am really deeply disturbed by this sad news and I wish I could go 'home'.

My friends never stop to take a jest out of me, saying that I am sometimes more Japanese than Malaysian, although my perpetual answer has always been: Aku anak Malaysia. I love my country but I can't help not missing Japan. But sometimes, sadly... I feel that I resonate with the Japanese values more, sometimes even feeling more at home in Japan. Is that wrong?

Sometimes I get the Japanese but for the life of me, cannot understand why Malaysians can be so cynical, giving up without even trying. Sometimes I too have the never-say-no spirit, this unquenchable optimism to attempt solutions and sometimes Malaysians tell me not to be silly because things will never change, but all they do is complain, at home, at work, everywhere about how everything is not working for them or could be better. Especially on how Malaysia can never be one.

Sometimes, like now, I feel torn. Sometimes I share what I feel and when I do, others think I've betrayed my citizenship so I have stopped sharing. But now? You know what? I couldn't careless about what they think. My heart is with Japan and the ordeal she is going through now. I wish I could do something to ease her pain.

The story below shows a true reflection of a selfless spirit. Really makes us think. When disaster strikes, everyone's for themselves (and you'll be surprised that in Malaysia, even when disaster DIDN'T strike, everyone's STILL for themselves). But not the Japanese. Always service first and even more so in its darkest moment. She taught me many things when I was with her. Her lessons are priceless. Her spirit is unbreakable.

Story from here (scroll down for simple translation).

看日本人如何面对灾难(值得全世界的人学习!)--- 加图了!本帖最后由 ~樱子~ 于 2011-3-12 05:50 PM 编辑

‎* 现在全东京电话都不能用,只有网络。所有人这时候都在走路回家,电车瘫痪。日本人只担心没食物。店长还很敬业的开店,怕大家没食物吃。只有超市关门,货物都倒了,无法营业。

** 几百人在广场避震完毕,整个过程,无一人抽烟。服务员在跑,拿来一切毯子,热水,饼干。所有男人帮助女人,跑回大楼为女人拿东西 ,接来电线放收音机。几个小时后,人散,地上没有一片垃圾。

** 地震後,日本三得利公司宣布所有販售機將免費供應飲料!日本的711和全家全部免费提供食品和饮水!渴了,自动贩卖机免费;饿了,便利店免费;累了,大超市开放避难;寂寞了,公众电话免费;听不懂日语,电视台中文喊话教怎么避难。這就是國家形象,日本雖然受災,日本人卻給世人上了一課。

* 一日本网友说:说句心里话,虽然我在日本,但其实庆幸是发生在日本,不然死伤人数肯定很恐怖,我相信全世界只有日本才可以把死伤降到最低!


imxiaomii 发表于 2011-3-12 10:10

Translation from Babel Fish. Not perfect, but you get the meaning:

Now the entire Tokyo telephone cannot use, only then network. All people at this time is walking goes home, cable car paralysis. The Japanese only worried that does not have food. Shopkeeper also very professional opening a shop, feared that everybody does not have food to eat. Only the supermarket closes, the cargo but actually, has been unable to do business.

** several hundred people shocked proof in the square finish, the entire process, did not have one person to smoke. The service person is running, brings all blankets, the hot water, the biscuit. All men help the woman, runs back the building to take the thing for the woman, meets the electric wire to put the radio. Several hours later, the human disperses, a ground not piece of trash.

** after earthquake, Japan three profit the company to announce all sales machine the free serve drink! Japan 711 and entire family free provides food and the potable water completely! Thirsty, trades automatically machine free; Hungry, convenience store free; Tired, the big supermarket opening seeks asylum; Lonely, public telephone free; Can'tunderstand Japanese, how the television station Chinese frontline propaganda teaches to seek asylum. This is the national image, Japan, although hits by disaster, the Japanese actually gave on the common people a class.

* a Japanese net friend said: Spoke the sentence at heart words, although I in Japan, but rejoiced is actually occurs in Japan, otherwise the casualties are very definitely terrorist, I believe the world only then Japan only then to be possible to fall lowly to the casualty!


True I was born in Malaysia, and this is and always will be my tanahair, tanah tumpah darahku. Somehow along the way, I guess I was inspired by and picked up some other values from another place. They say Asian values are the same no matter where you are. Asian family values that is. But not national values. And most unfortunately, our national values are vague. I guess I was longing for a place where people would unite in both dark and good times. People who thought about the bigger picture, the collective good rather than their individual selves. People who saw further than their auto-gates.

Don't get me wrong, I've met some really racist Japanese too who for some strange imbecilic reason still perceive Malaysia to be under Japanese occupation. I'm the first one to crawl over the boardroom table and show him my definition of Japanese occupation. My level-headed colleagues would be the ones holding me back to avoid a catastrophic ending. Well, I guess you can never get rid of all the bad apples. But the trick is, not to generalize.

Malaysians, who are with me? Can you hear me? Are you out there? Am I the only one? If our country was distressed, would you stand with her?

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