|[a] Rattled RF|
|[b] Jarring RF|
The only thing even remotely interesting here is that, no matter how common something might be (from seeing snow to experiencing an earthquake), we all experience it ourselves for the first time. There is something here that might be worth pondering—what is the relationship between cliché (the ground shook beneath my feet) and what is for the individual a singular experience? More on that later.
—I do not remember a precise date for this earthquake, so I cannot check the records (I was remembering it in November, four months later). I recall seeing in the paper that it was a 5.1 at the epicenter, but no more than 3.5 in Taipei, where I was living.
—I need not (but will do so anyway) remind readers of how serious earthquakes can be along the Pacific Rim.
2 November 1985
One night in June, at 1:30 a.m., the bed started jiggling. Then the windows started rattling and the birds began chirping and clinging to the sides of their cages. It was an earthquake that, I later found out, measured 5.1 on the Richter scale at the epicenter. It was over in a few moments, and wasn’t anything like a 5.1 in Taipei. It was, however, my first earthquake. I never thought of them as being eerie, but I became more nervous with every jostle.
Although the insight is unoriginal, we all experience these things for ourselves; it is a strange feeling to have the solid earth below you, vibrating. Since then, there have been several more, most lasting only a few seconds. Aside from tipping over a bowl of mangoes in the refrigerator once, there has been no damage.
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