Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sensitivity Training

Some mornings I wonder what will be going through my head when I no longer have to fold and put away our sleeping futons every single day. Then I try to decide which scenario I prefer- making a bed or putting away the mess of cushions and blankets we use for the same purpose. Putting stuff away does free up the tatami room for other purposes, but having a bed to fold laundry on is nice too… not to mention easier to crawl into when I’m dead tired, because I can skip the whole “preparing a place to sleep” process.

This was one of those mornings.

On a completely different note, today I was helping my friend practice making up stories off-the-cuff in English. Towards the end of the hour she froze in mid-sentence, and I silently wondered if her mind was running through the impressive list of English vocabulary it has stored away. Then I noticed that my bottle of tea was shaking of its own accord.

A few seconds later she straightened up and, after giving my puzzled expression an odd look, said “I felt an earthquake. Didn’t you?”

“Uh, no...” I answered.

After an audible gasp, she began admonishing the importance of being sensitive to earthquakes, especially now that I was living in Japan. So what if it was a tiny tremor a non-earthquake acclimated person would never detect? Always be ready to dive under a table at a moment’s notice.

I blame my lack of sensitivity on the trucks that shake the very foundations of our living quarters as they race by. It’s a daily occurrence that I’ve learned to ignore.

I also blame my parents for raising my brother and I in states that rarely see natural disasters. One would think they were trying to keep us from knowing the thrill of danger and learning how to respond to the ground trying to eat you by the old fashioned way of experience. How will my brother ever survive his globe-trotting ambitions??


It wasn't long before we were laughing about the whole thing, especially after she admitted that she often jumped to the conclusion that an earthquake had struck when in reality, it was all in her mind.

I forgive you, Mom and Dad.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

There's some new road or building or something being built just on the other side of my office and my whole room shakes quite frequently as the earthmovers do their thing. The first time it happened, I actually wondered if maybe it *was* an earthquake. After the fourth one in less than an hour, I realized that New Mexico was not located atop of a previously unknown fault line. I wonder if my two weeks of near constant shaking would help me feel real earthquakes? Probably not.