Tuesday, 12 March 2013

11/3/11 - two years later.

Right now, I am sitting in my parents' kitchen in North Wales, warming my hands on the radiator and planning my return to Prague, where I currently live. The snow swirling around through the window reminds me of some of the images on screen two years ago today.

I was sitting in the teachers' room at my main junior high school, writing my "About Me" page for this very blog, when the ground started to sway. It didn't feel like an earthquake - it was more like a giant ship swaying back and forth. I glanced up at the secretary and asked "Jishin?" She nodded. A few second year girls cowered on the floor and squealed, one of them holding her arms over the others and shouting "I am desk!" for my benefit, while Mr Ohuchi, the English teacher, yelled "Urusai! (Shut up)" The ground continued to sway, and a siren started to sound. Panic gripped my stomach as my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with messages - "Earthquake!" "OMG, there are cracks in the ground in Tokyo!" "They say a big tsunami is coming!"

At that point, I wasn't sure of where the earthquake was centred. The ground continued to sway, and nobody thought to translate the message on the loudspeaker for the ALT - I caught the words for earthquake and tsunami, though, and knowing that the Hamamatsu was expecting a massive earthquake and was on the coast, I couldn't help but worry. I picked up my phone to text Jeff, my boyfriend, and see if he was OK - but the phones had stopped working.