Japan just sounded like a neat place to visit. For all the energy shortages, social security problems, and rising sea levels there was still something to experience. Somehow it maintained or recreated that image from the late nineties - half samurai mysticism, half neon insanity. It seemed like a parody, like they were trying too hard to hold on to the days when economists talked of the coming war between the great economic powers. (No really, I've got a book "The Coming War With Japan"). You kind of just had to go and see what was real.
Well, I finally managed to find a tour group and uploaded translation software into a brand new set of headphones. It was going well - that perfect mid part of a trip when you're over jet lag, but still have some fresh clothes, and have not yet experienced stomach problems from the big shift in diet and eating street foods.
That is when The Event hit.
Everything in your life suddenly shutting down and states of national emergency are bad enough. When you don't know the language, your computer is wiped clean, outside communication is shut down, and all your currency records are wiped out?
I woke up in a hospital. Apparently it was just a panic attack, but bad enough I couldn't breath and passed out anyway. It didn't go full on movie cliche, fortunately. There was plenty of staff, they took excellent care, and even put me in contact with a girl who spoke fluent English. She's an otaku, but for Dungeons and Dragons of all things. Simply could not ask for a more perfect match.
Reanimates didn't show up immediately in the wake of the Citizens arrival, but things were in rationing and emergency mode pretty quickly. Probably comes from living with tsunamis, and the limited resources of the island. I imagine Israel got through it all pretty well too - albeit for less natural reasons.
I also imagine that the USA fared decently well due to the high per-capita gun ownership when reanimates really did show up. In a place where most of the police don't have firearms - it was hammers, kitchen knives, and table legs - the JSDF at one point was dropping loads of baseball bats and golf clubs onto rooftops to give people they couldn't get too a fighting chance!
The nation changed from the "land of the rising sun", to the "land of only sun". Reanimates have better night vision than humans, even if they can't see as well overall. Everything just shuts down and locks up a bit before sundown. I've been through orthodox Jewish neighborhoods on Friday night, and it still isn't as quiet as this. I swear the fog horn that sounds the all clear each morning is actually the nation's collected farts because they're that unwilling to make noise in the darkness.