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 On Tuesday, March 22 after the long weekend,  I went to the office to prepare for the move scheduled for the next day.  As ICS is in spring break, few faculty members were there, but most of the staff were busy working.  As we are saving electricity, the rooms were a bit cold and the halls were a bit dark.  It was a chilly cloudy day for March, and  I was feeling a bit down.

  So after the movers finished packing my books, I proposed that we (meaning the staff and I) would go out for lunch.  It was for cheering us up AND for supporting the restaurants and the economy.  Seven of us had lunch at the Chinese restaurant nearby and we talked.  As I was out of the country on the day of the earthquake and had not seen them after the earthquake, I heard their stories of staying overnight at ICS, getting caught in the traffic and struggling to get their children at school etc. on the day. One of them still had no water at her house, just outside of Tokyo. We also talked about excellent analysis by Dr. Ken Ohmae shown on Youtube.

  As we were having lunch, we felt the aftershock.  We were a bit nervous, but after the big earthquake, nobody panicked.  We kept eating and talking.   As we ended nice lunch and casual conversation,   I felt much warmer, partly because of nice Chinese lunch, and mainly because I felt the warm feeling we shared.  Before then, I was feeling quite uneasy and a bit depressed, but having friends to spend time with and to share good time reminded me of little happiness. 

  As I am leaving ICS in a week, the lunch was even more memorable for me. I am fortunate to be able to share good time with such a dedicated and competent group of people.

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