Well that wasn’t fun….

5.9 Earthquake last night at 3:05am, centered about an hour’s drive South of here, but enough to make this place do quite a bit of shaking. No deaths or injuries, thank god.

It was interesting in that it followed the “ripple” effect you see when you throw a stone in the water, by which I mean that we were hit by an initial quick trembler. (These are small brief “shudders” which are not uncommon in Taiwan.) That was enough to wake me up and make me nervous, but it was what followed that actually scared me. After the “trembler” there was a low rumble for a few seconds and a feeling that something big was coming and building, and then suddenly all hell broke loose and the place was shaking like someone jumped on the waterbed for what feels like an enternity, but which is of course just a few more long seconds.

This of course was followed aftershocks, of which there were apparently over 100, but I felt only four or five of them because the rest were too minor to really notice. The aftershocks are just more “tremblers”, tiny shudders passing through the Earth that don’t really do that much besides make you nervous and cause the paint to crack from time to time.

What was really interesting was the dogs, as you hear when you read about earthquakes, they went nuts barking beforehand. I spent the rest of the night not worrying about the Earthquakes, but listening for the dogs…if they started to bark you knew an aftershock would hit soon. It’s a creepy feeling, and it kind’ve conditions you to cringe when a lot of dogs start barking, which isn’t uncommon here without Earthquakes! I have also noticed I am always “feeling” for vibrations today, waiting, expecting another earthquake to come at any time….Part of learning to live in the Ring of Fire again, I guess.

Interesting how I managed to live in Japan and Korea with minimal Earthquake activity, but the moment I set foot on Taiwan…I’m starting to think the local mountain gods don’t like me or something.

Still, I’m not leaving. I accept this like I accept the typhoons when I came here, I don’t like them, but I accept them, and actually like it here quite a bit overall. Taiwan actually feels like home to me right now, and while I’m still getting used to it, it’s a place I think I will be for a while.


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