Saturday, April 16, 2011
The Earthquake Syndrome
Now it's been over a month since the big quake and the frequency of aftershocks have calmed down considerably except for a temporary surge last Monday and Tuesday.
However it seems like me and a lot of other people have now gotten some kind of "earthquake syndrome" thinking that it's shaking when it's actually not. Quite often in the office people look up and say "is it only me or is it shaking?" when it's actually not and sometimes I get mild feelings of sea-sickness due to some imaginary shaking. I'm sure there must be some real name for this but can't be bothered now to try and look it up.
The other day, we had a meeting in one of our meeting rooms in the corner of the office, with a nice view of central Tokyo with plenty of big windows. The meeting went fine as normal, but afterwards me and Mr. Pot-Belly remained to sort out some minor questions that had been brought up and we needed to discuss a little informally. It should be noted that both me and Mr. Pot-Belly both are quite uncomfortable with the shaking in the office (ok, not many people are completely comfortable with it, but they scare me a little more than most I would probably say, even though I know rationally that we should be safe in the newly built office building). As we were sitting talking I started to notice some minor creaking noises coming from the corner of the room. The conversation that followed went something like this:
Mr. Salaryman: (mildly alarmed) Did you hear that?
Mr. Pot-Belly: (curious) No, what?
Mr. Salaryman: (still mildly alarmed) The creaking noises from the corner close to the window, is there an earthquake now?
Mr. Pot-Belly: (also getting a little nervous) Is there? I'm not sure but now I hear the noise too...
(a few seconds of silence as we both sit still, listen and try to figure out if it's shaking)
Mr. Salaryman: (nervously joking) Well, I hope this whole corner won't fall off the building if there's a big one
Mr. Pot-Belly: (getting up) Let's get the hell out of this room!
..and I, after ten years in Japan thought I had gotten used to earthquakes... But I guess it's hard to get used to the wrath of mother nature...