Tokyo transportation woes

It's Sunday morning in Tokyo. We're waiting for Gary to come back from the train station. He went there to see if the trains are running. They haven't been since the earthquake. Today is the day that Brett and Dex are supposed to fly home - their flight is in six hours at 3:30 pm...the same flight from Tokyo to Portland that Scott, Mike and I are on tomorrow. There is no way to contact the train station or airport. They are not answering phones nor posting schedules or confirming flights on the internet. So we just have to go there and see in person if our flights will leave.

Brett and Dex are all packed and ready to go because if Gary has to drive them to the airport it could take up to six hours to make the one-hour drive. The roads near the airport were flooded and traffic is horrible around the airport. There were 13,000 passengers stranded there on Friday and Saturday before flights resumed.

Gary just called to say that the trains are running. That's really good news for everyone. Brett and Lesa have gone to the ATM to try to get cash to send with Brett in case they can't fly today and have to come back into Tokyo or stay overnight at the airport. I'm glad that they are going today because if they get home then they can tell us what to do tomorrow as far as what trains to take etc.

As I type I have felt two aftershocks. They just keep coming. There have been over 100 since the earthquake.

We're going to church today in Tokyo at Lesa's English-speaking ward. We're supposed to be in Sendai - it's surreal that things have turned out the way they have.

We had a fun day yesterday - life goes on here in Tokyo ALMOST normal. We went to two shopping areas - Harijuku (?) and Shin - something ... forgot.

Mike noticed, however, that it was quiet and less lively. The people seemed subdued. About 20% of the stores and shops had signs hanging on their doors that they were closed because of the earthquake. The little convenience stores and neighborhood groceries were empty except for drinks in the coolers and magazines on the racks. No food on the shelves anywhere. I did buy the last bag of gummi bears at one store and Mike was so happy to see that.

The main roads, subway stations and bigger stores were very very busy though and the stores seemed to be stocked. I wandered around a huge department store and loved seeing all the beautiful housewares, purses, cosmetics, and fantastic food area. Maybe it was busy there because the smaller stores were empty. Well, I have to go get ready for church so I'll post more later. Pray for Brett and Dex to make their flight out.