A KZNner feels at sea as Gauteng throws her a wobbly

2014-08-06 00:00

“GUYS, what the hell is that?”

I was in the middle of a trying finance lesson during a course at Media24 in Auckland Park, when I felt the ground begin to shake palpably and then intensely, a feeling not dissimilar to being on a really rough train ride.

I turned to my Beeld colleague next to me, and in response to my question, she shrugged nonchalantly and said it was a just a tremor, as, brow furrowed, she continued her calculation. “We get them all the time,” she added casually.

But when the shaking continued, the class began to notice and others began remarking on how long it was continuing, but then most of them carried on working.

There was no worry, no panic. These Gautengers are a tough bunch. I, on the other hand, was rattled in more than one way. Equations be damned, my first reaction was that this was a major news event. Adrenaline pumping, once it let up, and when I could text without my hands shaking too badly, I SMSed Beeld news editor Pieter du Toit who was sitting upstairs, to ask him if he felt it. He replied straight away saying it had lasted a full minute. Like a guilty school pupil, I went onto Twitter, phone under my desk, out of the lecturer’s line of sight.

At lunchtime, I hightailed it up to the Beeld newsroom, where their news machine had kicked into action, already buzzing with news of the epicentre and magnitude. Du Toit confirmed it had registered a generous 5.5 on the Richter scale. Vindicated at the newsworthiness of the tremor, I returned to tell my classmates. On the way home, the radio warned of aftershocks.

I am holding thumbs there are none.

I don’t share these Gautengers’ casual attitude to the earth beneath my feet throwing a wobbly.

• Saville is the news editor at The Witness in Pietermaritzburg

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