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The Last Contrarian
 
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I Survived the Tsunami!

13 April 2012, 09:00

There are two prominent advantages to living in Singapore: (a) when ol’Bob finally expires, it will most likely be in my backyard, and (b) when Indonesia issues a Tsunami warning, I’ll be one of the first people on the planet to know if it is anything to worry about.

So last night my wife and I enter our condo only to have the landlord tell us a Tsunami will hit Singapore in one hour, it’s all over the news. When Japan got hit by the tsunami last year, some schools and offices here closed on the rumour that RADIATION from JAPAN will rain down on Singapore anytime. This place is so small that you might as well stay in your office, or at school IF the radiation could even have reached us, which it can’t—not in dangerous concentrations anyway.

Let me just preemptively nuke the trolls who will post comments down below calling Singaporeans stupid for that embarrassing moment. Having bunch of people falling for hoaxes and internet rumours is not a phenomenon restricted to Singapore. ‘UHURU – Nag van die Lang Messe,’ any takers? Pak jou Maggie 2-minute noodles en waai Prieska toe LOL, daar sal nieman jou kom v*##in help! Some people still drive around SA with a full tank of fuel, just in case. So for those of you who didn’t know why whites have such a propensity to try and scare each other with the news that Mandela is dead, now you know.

Now, brave a god-slayer as I may be, I must confess to being just a tad scared the first time I felt a tremor here in Singapore. I was sitting in the office on the 6th floor when I felt the entire building vibrate. I’ve never felt this in SA before. So my colleagues told me, “yeah, when Indonesia has a big quake we feel tremors here”.

To put my newly discovered awareness of natural disasters to the test, a week ago, I decided to try the hurricane tunnel and the earthquake simulator room at the Singapore Science Center (yes, we have such things here). But I doubt these simulators gave the full effects… so I’m patiently waiting for the BIG ONE to hit so I can write an article about my experience, should I survive the event.

Singapore is a little bit of a spoiled brat here in Asia: when some major quake or tsunami hits, we usually just go “what was that noise?” Most surrounding countries here suffer the full effects of living on the pacific ring of fire, and these effects can be devastating from time to time. Quakes and tsunami’s are a part of life here and any expat living in Asia knows, when the news of a Tsunami hits, you usually get wet, and when the shocking news of an earthquake reaches you, you are already running for the door.

However, what sucked all the fear out of yesterday’s news for me is the fact that I know Singapore not only has two massive landmasses shielding it from tsunamis (Malaysia and Indonesia), but also that the surrounding waters are too shallow to propagate a truly devastating wave. So the tsunami from yesterday hit us all right, all 17cm of it. Moerse, and here I thought I’d have an Editor’s Choice article prepared followed by a job offer to be Nasper’s Singapore correspondent for my immaculate coverage of all the dead bodies washing up on the Singapore coastline… not happening.

And so, to my mild disappointment, I, again, find myself a resident in a country where I get go to bed and sleep soundly while some poor Indonesian family gets swept out to sea and drown. At least it happens close enough now where I actually reflect on it more intensely and for longer.

I did have some fun though; I scared my folks with a panic SMS hahaha. Evil, I know, but hey I have no conscience… so anyway. Thank you for reading my article about the great earthquake. I hope you feel as deflated as I did.

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