Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner

Earthquake. Tremors.

30th September 2009. 6.17 P.M. Cloudy. 14th floor, Megan Avenue II, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng.

I had a date with my BFF, Phoebe. She was still on the bus express on her way back to KL city. She told me she would probably arrive around 6.3opm and by the time she gets to KLCC, it would be 7pm. I decided to wait in the office and leave by 6.30pm.

I was on MSN with Wan Yi, Nicole and Melissa, happily talking about our trip to Taipei next year. Out of nowhere, I felt dizzy and my chair was swaying left and right. Gosh, I had the dizziness just few hours ago, did it decide to make a come back now with much violence? I even saw the blinds curtain in the empty room opposite me swaying a little. Me hallucinating? Was I really that sick?

Within that 2 seconds, I knew something was wrong. It was more than my dizziness. I  typed something in MSN, something about “it’s shaking”. I couldn’t remember. I stopped everything immediately. Hands on my desk, sitting, wanted to make sure. A second later, I felt it again. It was more this time. With my two feet on the ground, both hands on the desk and butt in my chair, I was swaying left and right. I felt it. It was more violent. The blinds opposite me was swaying, the walls beside my MD’s room was creaking!

I called out my colleague’s name who was in another room. He didn’t hear me. I opened my drawer immediately, grabbed my handbag and my handphone, wanted to make a run. When I stood up, I could feel it again. Gosh! I called out to my colleague a few more times, louder. He came out of his room and asked me what happened. Geez, he didn’t feel it! He was just in the room opposite me beside the empty room and he couldn’t feel it. When he came out, the shaking was gone. I told him to look at the curtain! The curtain was still swaying but it was settling down.

I typed to my friends on MSN “I felt the shaking… it is shaking… earthquake… I’m leaving… I’m going…” Packed my things, off my computer, I went to the other side of the office. 4 other colleagues were there, but only 2 of them felt it. They quickly packed and I waited for them to leave together. I couldn’t believe we took the lift down and not the stairs. It was later only I realised how dangerous it is if the tremors would have to happen again and serious enough to cause anything to collapse.

I was scared of course. In fact this wasn’t the first time I experienced earthquake tremors. First time was few years ago when I was on my bed about to sleep, second time was 2 years ago when I lunched with my colleagues in AMBank beside our office. Every time I experienced it, the first thing that came to my mind was I wasn’t feeling well. When I know it was the tremors afterwards, it was then only I got scared.

But this time, it was more. I got so scared. Was it lucky or bad that I didn’t run down in the first place? I should have done that, right? I almost did that, I grabbed my handbag and wanted to. But my colleagues were there. They didn’t act quick enough, I couldn’t just run without them, could I? Ironically, after came out from my office, I walked to KLCC, another high rise building. LOL! Surprisingly, I didn’t see any evacuation or people gathering beneath the KLCC towers. They didn’t feel it?

I checked the news on my phone, it was the earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, in Sumatra. The tremors I experienced yesterday, twice, 5 to 6 seconds? Or longer? I do not know. It seemed short but it definitely felt long. Well, trust me, it was like forever when it happened. At that point of time, I was praying inside my heart for the people in where the earthquake happened. If I could feel such a strong tremors, the earthquake must have been a bad one.

Not everyone in every building felt the tremors. Andrew was at work, 7th floor, at Jalan Tun Razak, all of his colleagues and him didn’t feel anything at all. He later told me and joked, “well, that is one of the advantages working in a call centre, whatever happens, our building is the safest, and we will remain there to answer/solve your problems.” LOL!!!

Some people commented that they’ve missed the tremors and to feel the tremors is some hard-to-get experience. Why in the world would people want to feel how disaster is like? I do not understand. To them, it was probably something new and fun. To me, it wasn’t fun at all. The fear, the panic, the do-not-know-what-to-do feelings, I do not want to experience that at all. They said Malaysia is a country free of massive natural disasters. 2004, we had the Tsunami. Every now and then we experience tremors. Are we now still free from all those disasters? Would we have earthquake too sooner or later seeing the tremors going stronger and stronger each time?

To think back now, of what happened yesterday, there’s one little details I laughed when I told Andrew (he was the first person I SMSed when I came out from the building) the whole situation last night. The second time I felt the tremors in office, I opened my drawer to take my handbag and grabbed my iPhone from my desk! Hahaha. I didn’t know what made me did that. The panic attacked? People would just run without thinking. But my first instinct was “grab the bag and handphone and run”. LOL!!! Andrew said from that, we could see that I am a person who hold dear to my important belongings. Hahahaha……

P.S.: How fragile and vulnerable life is. We should really cherish every minute we live today. What will happen the next minute, we do not know. Like yesterday, I was so happy at that very minute and if something tragic happened, if the building doesn’t hold, I would not be sitting here sharing the experiences. Leave no regrets, and live with no regrets. Friends, I do love you all.

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