the big one

Posted on Mar. 24, 2011 by geoffropuff

in my last post, i said i didn’t want to talk about the earthquake but my site’s traffic history spiked since the earthquake [the kobe earthquake photo (which i borrowed from google images.  sorry for stealing your traffic, random blog!) ended up bringing a few thousand visitors to this humble little blog.] so obviously there’s some interest.  i guess i will talk about my experience with the earthquake and all related issues.

earthquake mess 1

the worst of the damage in our teachers' room.

i was at school in the english teachers’ room at ichikashi when the earthquake hit.  at first, i thought, “whoa, a decent sized earthquake.  haven’t had one of these in a while.” but when the shaking continued and slowly became more powerful, and the teachers began praying, “kamisama, yamete kudasai” (god, please stop), i knew we had something different on our hands.

earthquake emergency doors

the quake was so strong, the emergency doors were shaken out on their own.

while trembling under the desk, a strange thing happened: i had a flash before my eyes.  no, not my life.  it was much scarier than having my life flash before my eyes.  i saw the future, well, an alternate future.  i saw the ceiling fall in.  i saw rubble trapping me under the desk.  i saw the building crumble around me.  i felt the pain of not ever being able to see my loved ones again.

barney rubble

why you gotta trap me, dude? (but thanks for breaking the serious mood.)

and then the shaking stopped.  we all got out from under the desks, surveyed the room, made jokes to ease the mood, and then started panicking again when the aftershocks started.

earthquake safe place

this was my safe place.

eventually, the aftershocks slowed enough that we were able to exit the building and gather on the soccer field.  good thing we had practice for this situation!  it’s a good thing that we had a half schedule that day, so only a fraction of the students were on campus at the time of the quake.  all the kids seemed to be in good spirits, save for a few that had nervous breakdowns.

earthquake field gathering

most of the students left on campus were brass band club members.

once the big aftershocks stopped, we returned to the english teachers’ room for cleanup.  considering how big the quake was, our room was in relatively good condition.

earthquake mess 2

not bad right?

i was allowed to return home early that day, which was good because mickie was scared.  she didn’t want to be in the house alone so she waited at the nearby park for me, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea (i believe you’re supposed to stay indoors during earthquakes.).  after giving her a big hug, she told me about her experience: she saw our 37″ lcd tv swaying and about to fall off the shelf so in the midst of the shaking, she power-lifted the tv off the shelf, put it on the floor, and then wrapped blankets around it to prevent any residual damage.

earthquake tv

that's my girl! she's got her priorities in the right place!

and with that, i’m done with our “day-of” story.  part two will include what happened in the days following, and possibly my thoughts on it all.  maybe that can be reserved for a third post.

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3 Responses to “the big one”

  1. Hope everything’s OK over there buddy. I had to laugh when you said Mickie saved the LCD TV. Reminded me of the story of you saving your anime DVD’s when Renaissance was about to burn down. LOL hahah I guess you did find the right girl



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  3. Call me crazy and dumb (yes, i’ve lived through my fair share of earthquakes in cali), but why is it dumb to be outdoors during an earthquake. nothing falls on you! hah

    well, glad to hear you guys are doing well.


    P.S. I found it funny that you got a spike in traffic to your “humble” site post earthquake. too bad it didnt go down. hah



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