Miss Hathoway- Please Circulate an “Out of Office” Memo

Miss Hathoway, please circulate an “Out of Office” memo as I’ll be out for a couple of days.

It’s time for the Clampitts to return to Tokyo as we have over stayed our welcome in Hawaii. My mother in law fled our presence after 3 days claiming illness with both her mother and father- in Hong Kong – to cover her bases and make sure there was substantial distance between us. Then Luscious Lawyer started taking on additional jobs including tutoring an elderly man in poetry which left only the poor Captain who started meeting with “real estate agents” during the afternoon.

Ready or not, here we come. My situation analysis of the current conditions are sketchy. On the ground reconnaissance missions conducted by my trusty sources in Tokyo- our wonderful houseguest Gobot and Andretti-san- have reported that grocery store shelves continue to be ransacked by hoarding housewives and bottled water is a thing of the past. Restaurants are open, however Tsukiji Market- the largest fish market in the world (see earlier post here) has cut prices by 50% due to drop in demand. Costco will be my first stop on Monday- has it managed the supply and demand? Costco is not as popular in Japan due to the limited storage space of the average Japanese home. Our bathrooms provide extra storage of canned goods.

School reconvenes on Tuesday with 88% of the student population returning. Although all my Japanese friends stayed, all my ExPat friends left. Some are undecided as to their return date. A very good friend of mine- some of you may have heard of her, she was a little known member of the girl band “The Spice Girls”- Posh Spice, Sporty Spice, Ginger Spice, Baby, Scary and my friend Kitchen Spice. Well, Kitchen Spice lectured that everyone must make choices specific to their individual situation, that I must not only be accepting of those decisions, but supportive, AND I should resist the urge to badger. Badger? I would call it selling the benefits of coming back and highlighting the risks of staying gone. OK, I will exercise self-restraint when the opportunity presents itself in the future. Because I do, in fact, respect these very individualized decisions. You’re right Kitchen Spice. Bitch. I am so sad to go back without a few of my best friends. I am selfish. I want to sell them on coming back. I can’t help it.

So provided I’m not shooting giant crows in the park in order to provide the next meal,

or squeezing water out of poo Bear Grylls style, for the next several days I’ll be focused on getting back in to the new normal which I suspect which will include a new addition to my routine, making rice balls for the true sufferers in the North.

And then, as always, there’s something else to worry about:

See you next week…

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32 Responses to Miss Hathoway- Please Circulate an “Out of Office” Memo

  1. Angela says:

    My family just arrived back in tokyo this very afternoon from Osaka, we have brough some water from the vending machine on the train platform and are takubining two boxes of “foreign” water up also. My husband follows the US Embassy mailer, which I think is forwarded to him through the ACCJ (although we are British, best to gather all the info you can in these instances) and they say that the drinking water is fine, I’m erring on the side of caution and using the bottles we have for the time being.

    I’ll fill you in shortly on the combini story!!!



  2. Watching the news re radiation levels I really do not envy your choices especially in light of recent reports (according to the media). My heart goes out to you and all the people who had to make the decision to go or stay and even return. All took courage. If you make a decision based on fact…that’s fine, but I really wonder how much is fact and the rest is fiction as to the politians trying to avert panic…
    Kind regards,


    • amblerangel says:

      I think there are so many watch dog groups over there someone is going to get the truth out- World Health Organization, American Red Cross, all the relief orgs, and the dozen or so international atomic agencies that I’m hopeful there is some leaking out. I hope so…


  3. I’ll be glad to hear what it’s like from an insider! Interesting to know there’s a Cosco. Be safe and stay hydrated!


  4. Angela says:

    Sorry, late getting back to you, not because we couldn’t find food and water, because that really wasn’t an issue. We went to our local Seijo Ishii, there was fresh fruit and vegetables (although salad leaf was grim looking), milk was a little low and there were, I have to admit, only small bottles of water, but there was some. We shipped two boxes of Volvic water up from Osaka where we had been staying and it just arrived, for the time being, I think we will stick to bottled water. I did read somewhere, but I cannot for the life of me remember where, that a charcoal water filter is good for these times, I have to research to find the article, when I feel less tired. Since arriving home, I feel completely exhausted, not sure why, but there was a man sat behind us on the shinkansen coughing and sneezing and I am just hoping that I didn’t catch whatever he was spreading around! Enjoy the time that you have left in Hawaii and wish you all a safe return to Tokyo.

    Angela x


  5. If you follow Bear Grylls’ adventures, then you’re obviously hooked on an adrenalin-filled existence. You did seem a little bored lying around on the beach in Hawaii. Your ex-pat friends probably enjoy a more stress-free life, so you’ll have to be patient with them.

    Cats kill 500 million birds?! It sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t mention what percentage of birds that is. Or how many cats are doing the killing. My cat averages about 2 birds per year – usually both doves (of which there are still plenty), because she’s not too skilled at catching other birds. Or maybe doesn’t find them as much fun as mice and rats?


    • amblerangel says:

      Well, it was the New York Times not Scientifc American. I’m just glad the chicken population is not endangered. and it doesn’t mention variability between cat breeds- my strays always preferred rodents- easier to catch?

      And don’t worry Lisa- we’ve been very busy here doing every rigorous activity available- I just haven’t bored all of you with the gory details….


  6. Mrs. H. says:

    It’s utterly surreal. I hope you have safe travels back, and I wish you all the best in your return. Still keeping you in our thoughts over here in the US.


  7. Lisa says:

    Safe travels. My thoughts are with you, your family, your friends and so many people in Japan.


  8. Uncle Mike says:

    Might even pay to see you squeeze water out of poo….take care and be safe…mws


  9. Dana says:

    Safe travels back to the place you call home! On a totally unrelated note, I noticed that the #2 searched term on Yahoo this morning is “muffin top”. I’m pretty sure your legions of followers are trying to find your recent blog post! I’m surprised it wasn’t more specific, like “radioactive muffin top”, but people are lazy when it comes to search engines. Good call to flee Hawaii and escape the glare of the impending paparazzi spotlight. 😉


  10. Paul says:

    Sad to see you are running away from your inlaws return, but on the bright side, Lucious Lawyer will be able to give up her tutoring job. When you get home and visit the fish market, remember, the fish that are not glowing are the ones that keep you growing. Good luck on your return and keep safe.


  11. Tori Nelson says:

    Be safe Be safe Be safe Be safe… and also have fun at COSTCO.


  12. The cat/bird thing completely distracted me from what was probably a very informative and meaningful post. 500 million? How could they possibly come up with a number like that? And what was the point of that article? To suggest that the number of wind turbines and cats should be reduced?

    Suffering succotash.


    • amblerangel says:

      It shared the page with the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Hawaii- I of course went to it immediately afraid that chickens everywhere were in danger. I think the people who don’t like the look of turbines may have financed the study looking to muddy the reputation of cats and turbines. That’s just my opinion. Scientific American wouldn’t publish it so they took it to the New York Times…


  13. Lisa Sandy says:

    Well, at lease Ars Technica has continued to have good scientific news about the Fukushima plant and about the radiation. As for the cats- that’s another reason why mine stays indoors. 🙂 Thank heavens the terrible powers of cats and radiation have not combined- oh wait!!! Noooo! It’s too late!


  14. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    Have a safe trip back home! 🙂


  15. kasuross says:

    I don’t want to be insensitive, but this news about cats is really interesting *_*


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