|INSTANT RAMEN FOR NOW|
As this post is published, I will be in Japan. I have timed this to appear, hopefully, as I am slurping down a steaming hot bowl of ramen in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo – the fresh kind, not instant as above – and trying as much as possible to keep warm (the day temperature is expected to be around 10° Celcius (a walk in the park for some but much too cold for an Equator-ian. Equator-ese? Someone who lives along the Equator).
I will spend the night in Tokyo before heading to Sendai (temperature: 3°C, below zero at night; chance of snow) the next morning. It's in the northeast of the country, and was the city closest to the epicentre of the terrible tsunami on March 11 last year. I'll be there with journalists from Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong on the invitation of World Vision International to report on the developments one year on.
From some of the recent international news agency photos, it looks like a lot of clean-up has been carried out. But thousands of people are still in temporary housing and there's a lot more to do before the victims will see even a semblance of their old life.
Of course, I hope to come back with a few food-related stories for this blog as well, but I certainly am not taking this visit lightly, or consider it just another reporting job. Sure, I'm had some cushy assignments, but I am truly looking forward to this one. It will be hectic and tiring, and the story will not be easy to write. I can be a bit of a cynic sometimes, but I know this is going to be one of those life-affirming experiences.