Sunday, October 23, 2016
i shall survive
So, there I was in my kitchen constructing a healthy Greek salad* when the Earth moved.
Not one of those figurative in-love-with-my-head-in-the-clouds type of movement. But the real thing. As if the freight train from Inception had taken a wrong turn and had left everything shaking in its wake.
It was an earthquake. And a rather healthy jolt. 5.1 on the Richter scale.
I have sat through many a tremor here on the Pacific coast. And that is what I usually do -- sit. But this once had an immediacy about it that caught my attention.
The first was that distinctive locomotive sound. And then a few seconds of rocking. realized there were several tons of concrete above me that could pancake me into a pastrami sandwich (to mix my delicious food metaphors). I abandoned the Greeks to their own fate and stepped out into the courtyard.
Like almost all tales of this sort, that was it. It came. And, like Omar's Moving Finger, moved on.
There is a good reason why this tremor was unlike any other I have felt here: it was just a few miles down the road. The epicenter was 9.2 miles south of Cihuatlán. You can see where Barra de Navidad is in relationship to Cihuatlán. The yellow marker is the epicenter. Just off our coast. Almost in my back yard.
I know someone is going to ask whether there was a danger of a tsunami. There always is. That is why the state of Jalisco has a tsunami warning system along the coast -- with marked evacuation routes to assist those who believe they can outrun death's carriage.
Because I saw no water running underneath my front door, I jumped in the car and took my salad to one of my favorite beach restaurants. After all, why sit in the back row if there is going to be a big ocean show? But there was nothing -- other than a great salad.
Living in the Pacific Northwest for most of my life, I am accustomed to low grade tremors. I have experienced the train only once before in the 1990s in Oregon. That earthquake was enough to inflict some major damage in some towns in the foothills of the Cascades.
As far as I know, there was no damage from this quake. Of course, with concrete houses, who knows? Stress fractures could show up in the future as leaks during the rainy season.
I have already received one message asking me if I am going to move because of the earthquake. Of course not.
Unlike many expatriates, I did not move here for the weather or the food or the culture. I moved here because I wanted to wake up each morning having no idea how I was going to make it through the day.
Having survived today's adventure, I am ready to take what tomorrow may bring. Until that carriage catches up with me.
* - Even though my exercise program is on hold as a result of an infection in my right foot, I am still trying to eat healthy.