Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer Solstice 夏至

The event of Candle Night began on June 22, 2003 as a volnteer event organized by many Japanese environmental NGOs. With its lil-too-cheezy-slogan of "Turn off your lights, and take it slow," calls for a two hours of complete 'lights out' and spent in the serene atmosphere of candlelights.

Many groups such as the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, businesses, governments & public facilities as well as artists in a variety of fields across Japan have shown their support for this event.

The website even gives you "quidelines" on how to enjoy two hours in a candle lit environment. From DVDs and CDs sets to play on the event, to the kind of music you should listen (punk rock, jazz, electronic), the sort of activities you can do: read a book, have a quiet dinner, games you can play such as hide-n-seek, even take a bath, have a party, or sleep!!
The event is organized in almost all over Japan, with CandleNight special talkshows over the radio in Tokyo, and candle-lit temple visits in Kyoto.

This year's 'Candle Night Summer Solstice' will be held from June 22 to 24, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
No matter where you are and how busy your work might be, take out 2hrs on either of these 3days and be relaxed.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

EARTHQUAKE shakes Beppu, Oita

so basically we came home after watchng "pirates: AT WORLDS END" and we had the biggest earthquake (in my experience).

the building shook with small tremors at first and we thought it was the wind, cuz the apartments are made from wood and it usually shakes from slightest winds.

but then it came again, and this time for a good 40seconds!
i remember rajat screaming at the top of his lungs to get out of home. i tried to unlock the main door with trembling hands and him screaming, and managed to twist my right foot. i was shaking badly the whole way as we ran down from the 6th freaking floor.

there were more students that met us on the street. with the japanese families who live in our building driving off with packed bags and calm expressions.. i couldnt understnd what made them remain soo bloody pacified in life. after about 15mins of waiting, we walked all the way back up the 6floors, and came home. i packed a bag with some chocolate bars, our wallets, Id cards and some medicines. we could hear cars moving around the neighbourhood, and bikes zooming across as well with ppl looking fr open spaces. while i admired the shampoo, soap, conditioner bottles fallen in the bathtub wondering 'that quake shook us, eh" and filled a bottle of water to be kept in my emergency bagpack, it came again!

i looked at my face in the mirror and it was swaying. this time as we ran down again i felt a lil better cuz we were ready for whatever happened next (and mostly cuz we were wearing shoes unlike the first time). we sat on the roads for another 20mins, and whenever we got ready to go back in, we felt another tremor and decided on the contrary. and THIS happened atleast 7times. by the end of it ppl had collected in a huge games feild near our home, and everyone was out of out our building.

when we came home finally, we kept 'feeling' tremors in our heads. shibi, prashmu and megu came over. petrified as we all were, we stayd up till late feeling the quakes in our heads. finally at 2am, we called it a day and crashed at our place. 6ppl in 2rooms.. and we already felt safe knwing tht all those who matter the most were right there with us, leaving no scope of uncertainity of the whereabouts of the others.

throught the night the tremors kept coming and ish n me were up everytime the earth trembled. we kept 'refreshing' the japanese website to check out the magnitude of the EQs that cme. the probabilities showed 80% to the predictions for the EQ that we kept tonight. they ranged only from 3 ~ 4.8 and we were shitting in our pants. now comes the scary bit...
there are predictions for the NEXT one - with my city, Oita, as the epicentre again!! - for 28th June, with a 100% probability is a 5.8 !!

wonder how we re going to survive that eh!