TRAVELLING THROUGH CONTAMINATED LANDS (4)
I arrived in Fukushima City yesterday night. I actually didn’t take the time to look at contamination maps so I have no idea how what is going on here. Some people told me it’s more contaminated than Iwaki, so I started being paranoid again. Right now, I’m drinking a cafe mocha and I’m regretting not asking for soy milk, while wondering where the scone was made and with which kind of products.
This weekend, I went to Gunma with friends from my past share house. We were having a BBQ, but I realized when we were shopping how they don’t look at where products are being produced. Girls were going crazy about having grilled mushrooms, but I was really worried about that. We had the choice between mushrooms from Nagano and mushrooms from Niigata. I told her to buy stuff from Nagano, but when it comes to this kind of products, I’m not sure you should eat the ones produced in Shizuoka… I spent the night asking them if they know anything about what is happening near the nuclear plant, if they know that food is still contaminated and that kids are getting sick in contaminated places, but they were all really surprised. That’s how little interest people have for radiations and nuclear risk. It’s pretty scary. I think the government did a great job undermining the issue.
Today, I was reading the summary of last year’s interview of the person I’m meeting this afternoon. And it broke my heart. 「福島では、ある程度まわりの人とも距離を置きながら付き合っていくしかない。」She can’t speak to people anymore and has to handle all the stress on her own. Even her husband is not caring about radiations anymore, meaning that she can’t talk about it at home either. As less people look at radiation maps around her, she feels lonelier and lonelier. She’s still hoping to be able to move from Fukushima prefecture to another prefecture, but her husband is against it and her children don’t really care, meaning that she has to repress her own feelings on a daily basis. I can’t start to think about how painful that is. Thinking that there is no support for people like her makes me mad and I get even more annoyed at the absence of attention that is paid to people like her in general. “What, there is still radiation issues? Really? Even in Tokyo?” If well-educated people are unaware of risks surrounding them, I wonder who would be! Even a student in astrophysics seemed to be surprised.
There is something else that, as for myself, seems surprising. I didn’t see one radiation measuring device. I was told they are generally placed in front of schools and stations, but I saw nothing when I arrived at Fukushima station. Maybe it has been placed in front of the West entrance… There is nothing that would make you worry here. There are huge posters calling for the recovery of the prefecture, people are not wearing masks, the weather is incredibly nice (20°C today, even though it’s mid November). I would feel like having a walk in the city, but reality is pretty different. Or my reality. I just saw people putting illuminations on a tree, without wearing masks or gloves, and the only thought that came to my mind was: “OMG, radioactivity falls onto tree leaves, don’t touch them like this!!”. Actually, radioactivity doesn’t just fall onto them, it’s also in them because trees are digging into the water that falls around them = hypothetically radioactive rain. Am I too paranoid? I think so. But there is nothing that will make me feel better, since trust has been lost.