No, this is not a picture of Taiwan. It’s a shot from the movie 2012. However, it does have to do with my topic for this post, which is earthquakes.
Growing up in NC I’ve never actually experienced an earthquake (apparently they’re pretty common in places like California, but never really occur on the East coast). Of course I learned about them in school and how they have to do with tectonic movements, but I had so many other issues at hand when I first got to Taiwan that I didn’t have time to worry about natural disasters.
Just the other day, I had my first run in with a earthquake. Well, technically it was my second run in. Apparently there was a minor earthquake the night after I got to Taiwan, but I guess I must have slept through it because I don’t remember it feeling it. Anyways, a couple days back I was on my way back from one of the local night markets. I was a little lost because I had taken what I thought was a shortcut to get back to my apartment (when I’m going somewhere here in Taipei I almost always walk, because taking a taxi is pretty expensive), so I stopped by a 7-11 to ask for directions. As I was about to talk with one of the cashiers, suddenly everything began to move. Since I had never felt an earthquake before, the first thing that popped into my head was the image of the 7-11 built on stilts, because the floor was shifting around under my feet in circles. It was all over after a couple of seconds, during which the cashier ran to the back of the store and made sure none of the wine and champagne bottles fell off the shelves.
When I finally did get home, I saw on the news that there was an earthquake right off the East coast of Taiwan. It was a long distance from the coast, and an even longer distance from Taipei, but it was strong enough that the people here in the city still felt it (it was a 6.8 on the Richter Scale, I believe).
Well now I know what an earthquake feels like. I’ll probably ask some locals what to do in the case of a major disaster just in case any more big earthquakes his Taiwan while I’m still here
P.S. Fun Fact: Since the Earthquake was off the coast of Taiwan, it caused some deep sea fish to swim closer to the surface of the ocean. A local fisherman caught one in his net yesterday. It looked so enormous and bizarre that it was shown on the news…after which it was promptly chopped up into sushi and sold at a local restaurant for 100 NT a pop