Monday, November 9, 2015

A measure of relativity.

We were woken by a temblor at 4:45 on Saturday morning.

            Mr Tabubil shook me awake - "big one, big one, Get UP!"
            BANG! The room shuddered. BAMMOBAMMOBAMMO - 
            And we were up, half-asleep, my feet tangling in the sheets and I fell, and then we were securely next to the core and Mr Tabubil opened the front door - 
            "Mr Tabubil!  I'm not wearing pants!"
            "Does it matter?!"
            BAMBANGBAMBANG  - the rattling was tremendous - walls and floors and windows and drawers and cupboard doors going bang bang bang and something in the stairwell slam slam slamming against the walls -
            And it eased and i saw the coats next to the door and thought "well that's all right, I can wrap one around my legs -" and
            And it stopped.

It was a 6.8, near Ovalle. A very very rattly 6.8.  It took us a long time to get back to sleep.  Mr Tabubil was woken up again at 7:00 by a nice solid shaking 6.0 and thought "it's smaller than the last one.  I don't care." And rolled over and went back to sleep.  I didn't wake up at all.
            And that was that.  We haven't heard a word about it.  From anyone.  This is the thing that i find most fascinating about living here in Chile, on the edge of the pacific rim.  In most of the rest of the world a 6.8 is a respectable quake.  Newsworthy.  Water-cooler excitement for weeks.
            Here, once people were back to sleep, no-one raised an eyebrow.  Not on facebook, not between friends or neighbors or colleagues - 
            Nothing fell over and it's business as usual.  Bothered?  Us

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