I found this old email I had saved on hotmail. Thought it was kinda interesting and thought someone else might too. I had been in Taiwan for about one year when I wrote it. It’s about the 1999, 9/21 earthquake.
Shit we need more earthquakes here if thats what it takes to get you to write…yeah things are still pretty freaky here we have good sized earthquakes here every day. We had a 6.8 yesterday morning. The first earthquake hit us at 1:00 in the morning local time I was asleep and was pretty damn disorientated. I just stumbled around turning on lights not realizing why they weren’t coming on and trying to find a door way to crouch in. The quake didn’t damage my apartment but it did break a pair of my sunglasses and knock everything over in my bathroom and kitchen. My friend had a cool experience, he was standing on his balcony just before it hit and he could hear it coming it sounded like thunder rolling towards him and when it reached his building there was a loud clap and he was thrown back into his building. I mostly just stumbled around flicking on light switches too asleep to figure out that there was no electricity and trying not to fall down. The after shocks kill people every day since the original one hit almost a week ago on the 21st. When I teach my classes sometimes the class will pause for a min or so as we wait for the building to stop swaying. In my city no buildings have come down and no one has been hurt as far as I know. But in cities above and below mine many people have died. Guess what I read in the paper?..did you guess yet? No, not that, man what a stupid guess. I read that in the last week Taiwan has had over 10,000 earthquakes…neat huh? I have a friend who lives on the 14th floor and he is getting very little sleep due to the fact he can really feel the aftershocks living that high up. Electricity is still sporadic and I will try to save this msg so as not to lose it. I know my shiftless friend Chris.H is using this quake as reaffirmation as to his not coming here but like I said before no one in my city was hurt and it was one hell of an experience. Off topic but kind of interesting they have their funerals here on the street…out side this cafe they are having a buddhist funeral which mainly consists of monotonous chanting for as long as I have been here. Other than the lack of electricity things are going good here, my favorite thing is still driving my bike like an idiot. I have started to socialize with the foreigners and some are O.K. My Chinese studies have really stalled out, I use to learn a few new words everyday now I am lucky if I learn a new word each week. Then again I haven’t met anyone who has been here for a similar amount of time who can speak better than me (as I pat myself on the back). So whats new in the world? Get back to me. Your shaken quaken pal _______.