Thursday, February 24, 2011

A new norm emerges

Tonight I did something normal - I cooked for my family. Although normal isn't quite the same as it used to be.
My 'normal' cooking routine tonight included only using water from a 20litre container (filled with deliciously clean Rangiora water) and swearing loudly at the earth as a couple of aftershocks rumbled through.
6:51pm, 4.0, 10k deep
6:56pm, 3.5, 5k deep
We have another small but important return to some kind of normality in that we are able to (sparingly) use our own toilets. No more trips down the road to use the portaloo that's right next to the footpath... it's not a place you want to be during an aftershock. Although we may have to abandon that 'luxury' when we move into our new rental place, as I'm not sure that the water supply has resumed over in that part of town just yet.

Like many Cantabrians, I no longer trust the ground beneath my feet. I'm in 'fight or flight' mode... it's a constant battle between the part of me that wants to stay and the part that wants to just run like hell. This is my city, it's where I grew up. My family's here, my work, my studies, my life - it's all here. I own a home here in this rumbling, shaking town (not that I can live in it) and until Tuesday I was anxious to get started on the rebuilding process. Now I'm not in any kind of hurry, in fact I'm not even sure I want to start planning a new home on such unstable ground as this.

There are people deserting the city in droves... flights from C-city are booked out and roads north & south are filled with people fleeing the constant shaking and the lack of basic services.
I will be staying... for now. I have to make my second shift in 6 months and I have two more honours papers this semester at UC... and providing there aren't any more major disruptions to lectures, that should be done by June. Then I will re-evaluate the situation because if this kind of disaster can strike almost 6 months after the initial quake, cause this kind of devastation and set the recovery effort back further than anyone could've imagined... wth might happen in the next 6 months? If this ground doesn't settle down sometime soon then I'm going to be looking elsewhere, probably overseas...

I love this city, my blood runs red & black and my eyepatch was applied at birth* but I'm having serious doubts about it being a safe and productive place to be. My family's livelihood depends on the events industry and that has been placed in jeopardy by the damage to venues, infrastructure and accommodation. We'll just have to stick it out for a while yet... the rocky ride has only just begun.

*overseas readers may have never heard of the term "one-eyed Cantabrian"... we're notoriously parochial down here and our rugby team is usually victorious. Except when we aren't... but we'll only go on about the winning ;)

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