The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Survived the Typhoon

Hi! The typhoon came and went. To my experience, it wasn't a big deal, although I turn on the news this morning and see that 2 people are dead and one missing; the entire train system in Tokyo was shut down for hours yesterday morning, stranding hundreds of thousands of workers and basically bringing the city to its knees.

We knew that a big storm was coming, and people were bracing for impact. The newspapers were blaring headlines about the impending "morning commute panic" which was expected to happen. We learned from some other teachers that the high school was to be shut down for the day, but the university side of things was going to be "business as usual". This despite the fact that all of our students were assuring us that they had no plans of coming to class...

So I woke up a bit early yesterday morning, braved the hurricane winds, and went to the station. There were noticeably fewer people on the platform, but the trains were running. It was actually kind of pleasant because the train was less crowded than usual.

The bus to school was absolutely deserted - it was just me and another teacher, but no students. We walked through deserted hallways and opened up our classes. About 2 minutes before 9, the professor in charge came around and told us that all classes were cancelled for the morning. I later learned that this information had been on the university website for some time, but telling us that wasn't high on our company's To-Do List, apparently.

So, we sat around and amused ourselves for a few hours. The weather that morning was very odd. It started out rainy and windy - typical stormy weather - but the clouds soon blew away and it was a strange mix of sun and high winds. It was actually kind of pleasant being outside, because it wasn't cold at all, but the wind was whipping everything around and making it difficult to walk.

By noon, the storm had faded completely and it was just a nice, warm, sunny day. People who had taken the whole day off must have felt a bit sheepish - although they had a beautiful day to enjoy from home. A few of our students changed their minds and actually showed up for afternoon classes.

The trip home was also very pleasant, with the buses and trains only half full, I'd guess. It kind of made me think what a nice place Tokyo would be if about half the people moved away.


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