There was a huge earthquake in Japan yesterday. Kyushu area, where I currently live, is OK. But the main island especially north area was severely destroyed by the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami. I went to Matsushima, where is one of the most beautiful places in Japan 2 years ago. But the town was disappeared by the Tsunami. Many other coastal small towns were also disappeared by the Tsunami, and we still don't know how many people died. Fire occurred from many chemical factories and gas stations. Today, I went to donate my blood for helping people who were suffered by the earthquake. During the donation, I was shocked by TV news showing the power of Tsunami engulfing a whole town and nothing left. Because of the shock, my temperature went down, and my blood pressure was also down. Staff of the blood donation room gave me hot water bags and changed the TV channel to a relaxing kitten video. The video of the Tsunami was just so shocking. I didn't know the real terror of Tsunami until yesterday, although I thought that I knew it.
If you are in Japan, and would like to donate money, there are two web-sites in Japanese. One is Groupon (click here), and another one is Yahoo!Volunteer (click here). Many Japanese have donated for disaster victims (Currently, Groupon collected 21,126,400 yen, and Yahoo!Volunteer collected 59,078,118 yen). This is the only thing that is heartwarming.
My Vietnamese friend, who is now studying in England, was attacked in Italy 4 days ago. She lost everything including her VISA, passport, money, credit card, and cell phone. Surprisingly, no one helped her even police men/women. She asked a police woman to make a phone call, but the police woman scolded her and said that here is a police station, not a telephone station. The police did not try to catch the robber at all. She went to Vietnamese embassy next day (she spent a night in a station) and asked to reissue her VISA and passport. She is now waiting for it in Italy. She said that she stayed three hotels in this four days. First two hotels were terrible, there is no hot water nor an air conditioner. In the third hotel, she finally had hot shower. When she left the second hotel, the hotel asked her to pay 950 euros (\100,000) as a telephone fee, although she used their telephone just for 10 min. Thus, she called police, but the hotel and police threaten her together to put her in a jail, if she doesn't pay the fee. Italian police is not trustful at all. Her friend, who can speak Spanish, in England run to the hotel, and helped her by paying 100 euros. The police tried to increase the money to 500 euros, although the hotel agreed 100 euros. Italian police real sucks. When I heard a news that Japanese travelers were asked huge amount of fee for wines or something in Italian restaurants, actually I did not believe it (sorry). But it can happen in Italy. You can't trust police at all. You can't expect peoples' help. My friend is in a relatively safe hotel now, and waiting for her new VISA and passport. I pray for her safe escape from the country. If you are planning to go to the country, please be aware of the situation in the county. After I heard the terrible story, I myself probably won't go to the country never ever. 1/8/2011: She finally went back to her apartment in England. I'm so happy to hear the news.
I found a very unique statue of a group of human in front of the Fukuoka City Akarenga Culture Center. Their faces are flat, like ancient Egyptian arts. This statue was settled for celebrating recovery of the Fukuoka city after World War II. I think that the statue is a very nice art.
There were 2 shops on the moats during the boat tour. These shops were selling soft drinks, beer, and ice cream. These were like "drive-through" for boats. I played with the photo and made it little bit nostalgic.