The Medieval Bestseller
I read it somewhere on the Internet...
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's poor timing and all, what with the earthquake & tsunami in the Solomon Islands, but I was thinking on Sunday night about how I haven't felt an earthquake in a really long time. Sometimes when I am in Princeton I'll find myself thinking, "I shouldn't put this picture here in case of an earthquake," or, when I'm trying to find a book in the library, "If an earthquake happens right now, I'll be crushed by all of these books." But then I remember that we don't have earthquakes in New Jersey, which is a weird thought to me.

Earthquakes are my favorite natural disaster, probably because they're the first natural disaster I experienced. I remember as a little girl hearing about these mysterious "earthquakes," wondering how I would ever know when an earthquake occurred. Turns out that it was very easy to figure out; I still remember my first earthquake. I was in day care in elementary school (maybe I was in the first or second grade...7-ish years old?) and everything started shaking and I immediately dove under my desk, just as we were taught. I think I was one of the first people to figure out what was happening.

Anyway, now earthquakes are no big deal...fun, even. When I was living in Jamaica, my host family couldn't believe that I was from a place where the disasters were earthquake and fire. I am sure they wondered how on earth I ever survived living in California, based on their facial reactions. I, of course, was petrified of experiencing hurricanes while in Jamaica that summer, but to them, hurricanes were no problem...you just sit on the porch and play dominoes (in true Jamaica "let's not worry about anything" fashion). I did not pick up that "let's not worry about anything" fashion in experiencing Hurricane Dennis or Hurricane Emily, especially when I learned that there was potential to lose electricity and water for at least a week or two. We never did lose water or electricity for that long (in either of the hurricanes I experienced), but the mere thought was horrifying to me (probably because Jamaica, at that point, was already a bad experience...it didn't need to get worse).

I am just remembering, actually, that while I was in Jamaica we had an earthquake one night. Since earthquakes are no big deal to me, I will continue to do what I need to do (in that case, it was to remain in bed and sleep) and the Jamaicans freaked out about the earthquake. It was so funny because the earthquake was SO minor as earthquakes go.

Having experienced earthquakes, fires, blizzards and hurricanes, my preference for natural disasters to experience is an earthquake. Well...maybe not if I were in a third-world country where buildings are not retrofitted for earthquakes. Or on an island where a tsunami could do major damage. But in California even a strong earthquake can be minor, thanks to precautions that have been made, and where I live tsunamis would be very, very unlikely. Blizzards are probably my #2 (the thing is that they're just so boring), with fires and hurricanes falling much lower on the natural disaster scale.

- Jenny, 4/03/2007 06:57:00 AM

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