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...

10 comments:

blukats said...

Jinshin yoi. Really, that is the term I heard being used.

I can attest to this since I had it while in Tokyo for two weeks from 3/11 on. It took a couple days after getting back to California before I stopped feeling it. The turbulence from the flight back didn't help.

But it does go away. Hope the shaking there does the same.

Blue Shoe said...

That happened to me the day of the actual quake. Almost the rest of the day I felt a little sick and kept kind of feeling like it may be shaking - had to keep asking the guy next to me and he kept telling me no.

Must be pretty rough living even closer to the epicenter. =/

Chris said...

That photo is doctored.
I love Godzilla and I know the whole Godzuki thing was a Chinese conspiracy because we never saw Mrs Zilla'

Now enemies posing together...fucking Chinese messin shit up. ;)

Eva said...

Oh you know what, this is normal! I was on TV with a psychologist being interviewed about my earthquake experience. He said that this "syndrome" would take about a month to get over with, provided that the earth beneath you is not shaking all the time.

I just checked JMA, another 5.9 aftershock this morning, damn... :(

Gaijin Wife said...

Must be compete shite - and I have had many friends who live in Tokyo say they suffer from the same thing. Thank god we live too far South. Had another big one this morning? Hope the shaking stops soon for you all.

Sarahf said...

I would be squeeling like a little girl every time the room moved in your situation.

TheOctopus said...

At the start of the week I put a bottle of water (genuine Tokyo tap water, I wouldn't want Little Baby Sunshine to go without bottled mineral water) on my desk to serve as a simple-but-effective "am I just imagining it"-meter. Also, when the Big One does strike in the Tokyo area, it will come in handy to wash down the iodine pills with.

Martin said...

Does Mr. Pot belly look oafish, or like a gorilla. Or is he very sexy? You kno, the rest of him is normal. Normal face, normal legs, normal hips, normal ass, but with a big, perfectly round pot belly?

Mr. Salaryman said...

Blukats- That term is not wrong but basically means "earthquake-sick" but is more applicable for real I think? Well, anyway, the shaking has subsided a bit now at least, hopefully it'll go away in a bit...

Blue Shoe - Haha, well, during the day of the actual quake there actually were minor and major quakes going on all the time even here in Tokyo... You probably was right you know

Chris - I'll take your word for it! I always wanted to get in on it but they never showed that stuff back in Sweden when I was a kid!

Eva - I see, well, it's still shaking from time to time, so maybe I can start counting a month from ... ... soon...

GaijinW - Still, I guess TOkyo people shouldn't complain too much, must be much much worse up in Sendai and Fukushima, but I'm getting quite sick of it

Saraf - Yeah, some people probably get used to it, but I don't, at least not in the office

Octopus - I tried that, but that just gives me rushes of panic when the surface is moving because Cpt. Awkward is tapping his leg in some form of awkward rythm and shaking the table...

Martin - No, he's more short and stout with a significant belly on top of that so not the "slim guy with a huge pot belly"

kathrynoh said...

Same thing, only my house is so old it shakes all the time anyway - passing trucks etc. so I figure if the furniture isn't moving, it's ok.

Related Posts with Thumbnails