Saturday, May 5, 2012

shake it out

Wellington has a Sunday morning fruit and veggie market on the waterfront every week. It's one of my favorite weekend activities. Half the town comes down for a stroll by the water and slammin deals on free range eggs. Asian guys with machetes hack heads of lettuce in half and toss them into sale bins. Giggling Kiwi kids and their dads zoom around on scooters. When it's not raining, there are usually a few guys playing bongos and accordions in between the crêpe booth and the taco stand. 

I love the community energy. Even on the loneliest of homesick Sundays, a walk through the market makes me feel connected to something. I can buy an apple and a coffee, chat with the barista, and go away much happier. 

This morning was sunny and cool. I went to the market for some spinach and zucchini and then stumbled upon a gluten-free bakery stand. I was at peace with the world. I came home to drop off my apples and zucchini. I shoved them in the fridge and sat down at my desk to read. 

The flat shuddered. 

I jumped up and looked around. Did the fridge just fall over? I ran into the kitchen. Nope. I looked outside to see if someone had dropped something on the roof. 

My brain digested the situation. So that's an earthquake.

Since the horrible earthquake in Christchurch last year, New Zealand is full of public service announcements about earthquake preparation. But I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do in case of a real quake. The ground in Ohio or Pennsylvania never moves. I suppose I should've secured my chandeliers and crawled under my desk instead of shrugging and doing nothing. 

It was bizarre. Even when I'm feeling most well-adjusted to living here, something inevitably butts in to remind me that I'm not at home. If you'll excuse the horrid metaphor, I feel like the earthquake was trying to shake me up. I was definitely unsettled for a moment. Then I pulled out an apple and walked back outside to finish my reading in the botanic gardens. 

Shaky or not, it's still a terrific country. 

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