Student Blogs/Zach in Chile

An earthquake is to Chile what a +15 degree winter day is to Calgary. Although, if I had to pick between the two, I’d prefer the latter. Given the nature (no pun intended) of the event and its frequency in Chile, it isn’t surprising that there would be a drink named after the natural disaster. While it isn’t awful, but undoubtedly not the best way to mix white wine, grenadine and ice-cream, this Terremoto isn’t the one I’m talking about. On the other hand, if it’s a drink you’re after, check out “La Piojera” – a well-known Chilean bar that serves Terremotos by the hundreds.

As I mentioned however, it’s not the overly-sweet poor use of wine I wanted to blog about. Over the past week, Chile has experienced earthquakes, ranging in magnitudes of 5-7 roughly on the Richter Scale. On Friday April 21st, I experienced my first earthquake. Well, kind of, as you see I didn’t really know it occurred. I was brushing my teeth and preparing to go to bed and I felt nothing! I was completely oblivious to what was happening outside.  Only after was the earthquake brought to my attention.

Now, as I was clearly safe and not shaken up by the whole event (pun intended), I did what anyone would do in today’s society. I went to my phone, checked Facebook and Whataspp to see how the other Canadian exchange students were, and if they knew what just happened. Learning they all felt the earthquake I quickly became a little disappointed that I missed it. Again, only because there was no damage and everyone was okay did I begin to think of it as a missed experience. “Was this going to be the only earthquake, and I was going to be the only one to miss it?” What a shame that would be. Luckily/unluckily this earthquake was, in baseball terms, the lead-off hitter and the heavy-hitter was up next.

On April 24, Chile was struck with a second earthquake. Like I said, the heavy-hitter was up, and this time I most certainly felt the swaying of the floor; I felt my body going one way and my stomach the other. At 7.1, it was inevitable that I’d feel the quake. The doors of the apartment were swinging windily before being slammed shut. Fortunately, Chile is prepared for events like these, and nothing broke! Even being on the twenty-third floor, I felt safe.

In the following days, there have been a few after shocks. From time-to-time, the floor below you begins to rattle. These small rattles compare to the vibrating of an incoming text message on your cell phone – nothing severe, more fun than scary. That is however, at least for now, as the quakes are moderate and haven’t posed any threats here in Santiago!

The Terremotos this past week were fortunately moderate. I am lucky that nothing serious happened and that everyone here is safe. While I got to enjoy the experience, these events can be dangerous. As a result, even though the drink isn’t the best, it’s the better of the two Terremotos.

 

And I still managed to finish it!

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