Monday, July 16, 2007

It felt like I was on a boat

Yes, I felt the earthquakes yesterday. The first one was during my first lesson of the day and lasted maybe fifteen seconds. When it stopped, we just continued the lesson like nothing had happened, although I was totally thrown off my game (and I assume the students were much more so--after all, on this whole continent I have only myself to worry about). All the local news is in Japanese, of course, so we had to wait for the Western world to wake up and report on it before we knew what was going on. Just as we were going to bed, we felt the second quake. I was lying in bed and watching a downloaded episode of Heroes, and the shaking was gentler than earlier but it went on for more than a minute. When it finally subsided I got up and consulted with my shaken (heh) roommates. We checked the internet for updates, but even forty-five minutes later there was still nothing; we tried finding some coverage in English on TV, but to no avail, so we gave up and watched a few minutes of a learning-English game show. The contestants had to fill in the blanks of a English sentence after listening to three or four native speakers say it. It was pretty amusing, but not nearly as good as Japanese commercials, of which my current favorite is the Kirin ad featuring "We Will Rock You."

(We're far enough from the epicenter that there doesn't seem to have been any local damage, but there are thousands homeless in Niigata. I'm trying to figure out how to donate or volunteer to the Japan Red Cross, but so far haven't found it.)


Ramona said...

ok, that's a little scary!

Javajem said...

Wow - I saw that in the paper and thought of you. I'm glad you are ok!! Scary - I've never felt an earthquake!