Monday, April 4, 2011

Quirks of the Quake

My uncle said that he remeasured his house position using his GPS unit in late February after all the quakes and relative to the satellites his place had moved thirteen metres.
It seemed a bit far fetched but we also have a GPS unit and knew where we had measured our house location. We checked it again and it reckoned our place had moved nine metres. We tried it over several days and we definitely had a new location always eight - nine metres from what it used to be. Our old position is now in our neighbour's house.
Someone on Friday night described how living in Christchurch now resembles a board game. Some of us suffer hardly at all with each roll of the dice and others have lost their house and now are finding out they have lost their jobs and it all seems quite random. Some struggle to get any kind of assistance while others get phoned and pressured into taking help they don't think they need.
It is all so complicated. The other week a lady mentioned that now another grief was happening; bureaucracy betrayal, for those that are being let down by not being able to successfully negotiate the system.
I experienced the most unusual phone call I have ever had with an insurance person. It was our commercial insurance - who haven't returned calls for five weeks. Then suddenly I got a call from someone in America. It seemed they wanted to help and did everything they could to make sure we got some help.
Everyone I've talked to here, mentions how unusually tired they are. I think it is just the constant stream of new information we need to assimilate - new routes to work, shops we can't use, new routines we need to do and an underlying tension of uncertainty about further shocks.
Then there is the future, the rebuild of the city and what will happen to suburbs not rebuilt and where will the homes go?
It doesn't take the community spirit long to dissipate - with comments of; "not near me", "the land here is much more valuable than the land was in the east" and "it is unfair to move people to new areas". We have a long road ahead and I hope the uglier side of humanity doesn't come to the fore in the tiredness and the tension.

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5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.