Riding the Waves in Bed

Saturday 28 Jan 2006 2:02am – all quiet.
Saturday 28 Jan 2006 2:03am – woken by someone shaking the bed. Hey wait a minute … the whole building is shaking in the breeze. Whoa … (expletive deleted).

For about 30 seconds, I rode the wave while lying in bed speaking in mono-syllabic expletives. Swaying in the breeze was just right, but we are only on the 1st floor of a 3 level building.

The knowledge that the Hotel Timor would fail any structural integrity tests elsewhere in the world did not sit well in the guts as we rode out the wave. Having lived in known earthquake zones before, I don’t recall feeling quite so unsafe. One can only thank that this building is no taller than 3 levels.

The thought of finding alternative accommodation suddenly rose to the surface again. Even one of the larger banks in town had to move at great expense because of the imminent collapse of its new foreigner built premises. This does not inspire confidence with alternatives either.

The distinct lack of independent certification of building works is already high on our agenda as we seek clarification on the completely new electrical wiring in our soon to be completed residence. When you have the acknowledged best electrician in town, I am told you have to accept his own self-certification. Because the alternatives are not worth it.

Saturday 28 Jan 2:37am. I think I can go try to go back to sleep now. Maybe I just might pop a little sleeping pill.

Postscript : This quake which was reported widely in the media, turned out to be a 7.7 Richter scale one some 440kms away. As far as I can tell, everyone seems to have woken up during this one.