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16 August 2005

Soothsayer

it's rather strange! i wrote the following piece last night at home with old-fashioned pen and paper. i thought i'd post it in a week or so but i'll pop it on today now that i've survived a Big One.

today an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 was recorded off the east coast of honshu, japan's largest island. i was here at work and as the building started rocking we all looked around at each other and started cracking gags. i guess we thought if we're going down, we may as well be laughing! as the rocking became more severe, expressions of alarm occasionally interspersed the bravado on our faces and we all silently rode it out.

the building rocked and swayed for about 2 minutes which is quite disorienting and i'm still very dizzy. a guy was holding onto the bookshelves to stop them falling and computer monitors were swaying on the desks. when i looked down, it was strange to see my own body moving, swaying to the beat of the earth's drum. when the shaking finally stopped, everyone just continued with their work, and wako called over and said he really liked a rewrite i had just done!

if this was a hollywood film, we'd all be cheering, yelling, slapping each other on the back, giving high fives and congratulating ourselves on surviving. perhaps there would be tears and hysteria...something! perhaps the japanese are used to it, although how u could get used to something like that i'll never know. anyway, here's what i wrote last night.

there i was, holed up in The Den, wondering if the thunderstorm raging outside was a mere prelude for the next Big One. watching the extreme violence of mother nature's fury in the sky, i could only wonder: would the reverberations next come from 'within' the earth? would it shriek and shudder and shake and jolt and throw us all around as if to rid herself of an annoying encumbrance?

ma and pa's preoccupation with the weather (sorry folks) is nothing compared to my obsession with the next Big Earthquake, mother nature's revenge. and who can blame her with all the damage we inflict upon the earth and each other? it doesn't help that i've just been editing a couple of articles for a magazine about the sumatra earthquake and resulting tsunami, reading in graphic detail about the effects the shifting plates had on the earth and the subsequent devastation.

japan is the land of natural disasters. u don't come here for the weather! this is the first link i check each morning when i get to work. i wasn't in tokyo on 23/7 when the last big one hit but i heard from people at work that it was terrifying. i checked out a few websites, being the professional web surfer that i am, and discovered that u know it's a big one when u can't walk coz the earth is shaking so much! well, dahhh! i did however, discover some useful information.

tip one: if u can get to the front door/exit, do so and open it so u'r not trapped inside.
tip two: turn off gas so house doesn't burn down.
tip three: don't go outside unless it is necessary to evacuate.

jesus christ.

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