Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You have got to be kidding, right?

Last year it was an Icelandic volcano. Nothing like that could ever happen again, could it? On the Epic scale of irony, this rings the bell. Two weeks before I leave, the 5th largest earthquake of recorded history hits Japan, plunging the country into the worst challenges since the horrific end of WW II.

As I type this, 4 nuclear reactors are desperately trying to be wound down or should I just say saved from a full radioactive pool meltdown. Nobody really should have expected that the facilities would have been able to withstand a 9.0+ quake, what is unfortunate is that the reason for the catastrophic events is that backup power generation failed so the water couldn’t be pumped fast enough to cool the reactors. The backup power generation failed because of the equally epic 30+ foot tsunami that took out the northern coast of the country. The scene of devastation is surreal, whole towns gone, towns of 75,000+ just GONE. The third largest economy on the planet in complete shock with huge question marks about ongoing survivability and how they will rebuild.

Day by day I have been watching the Tokyo airport (Narita) postings and ANA airways to see if things were in any semblance of being able to go on. I so wanted to support the region and help support Japan. But I do need to get through. Not an option to get stranded again. Today there was a new notice. All food and beverage service from this point forward on that airline is being halted. Gulp. Its not that I need to be wined and dined while flying but that little admission told me miles about where the thinking and mindset is. They are in survival mode and there is still 2 weeks to go. Time to fly.

I cancelled my reservations and have rebooked my travel almost identically to last year. Frankfurt, Bangkok, then Katmandu. Coming home I have a one day layover in Frankfurt because there were NO open seats coming back. Guess I am not the only one rebooking, huh?
Really, I mean REALLY? This is really absurd how much you have to want to hike up a valley, far, far away. I only wish I could have visited Japan, but it is one travel I may just have to let go, to try to get to the roof. Never any guarantees about anything. Guess that is the lesson of the day. Caveat Emptor and Carpe Diem rolled into one.

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