A very real experience

I was at a club last weekend (in Second Life, of course…). It’s not that I have a particular liking for dancing puppets, but I do like meeting people from around the world, and a Second Life club is really rather good at facilitating that.

It was an ordinary club night,  DJ, friends, friends of friends, strangers. Around me, a conversation began along the lines of:
“How’s your arm?”
“Still sore”

When I enquired what had happened, her reply was well beyond what I expected.

It seems she had just returned from a visit to Japan. To the East coast North of Tokyo. Her cuts and bruises came from the earthquake. Her broken arm came from holding on to someone to stop them falling. She succeeded. Then they were hit by the water. Eventually, the Japanese army rescued them.

It was far, far worse than that description.

It is my good fortune that I live in the UK and wasn’t involved in the disaster, only hearing second or third-hand stories from commentators and videos. Listening to it first-hand suddenly pulled me into a reality I hadn’t been expecting. I used to imagine that the Japanese people understood earthquakes, that they would be fine. I don’t think they expected this one.

Paul Rudman

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