Sunday, October 10, 2010

The temblor and the scared gringo

The day before my birthday there was an earthquake, a temblor, not a terremoto, but it was strong, nonetheless, not strong enough to knock dishes off the shelves, but strong enough to make me stumble to regain my balance and give me a good scare. I was washing dishes (I know, a rare exception in Sonia’s home) and the floor started shaking. I finished washing my dish and placing it in its dish rack, not knowing what to think, or do in the case of an earthquake, and concluding that I might as well finish what I was doing. Then, there was a stronger rumble, and Sonia and Julita were yelling at me and waving a hand at me to come over to the door. I stood with them in fear, ready for the floor to open up and me to fall into the gaping breach. Well, that was it, and the floor did not open up. I didn’t think I looked that scared, but Sonia and Julita wouldn’t let go of it.

After the earthquake, Sonia called Juanca, her nephew, and then spoke with the neighbors, and then the Guard (the one that is not Nicaraguan), each time chuckling and recounting “y mi hijo no sabia lo que estaba pasando. Tenia mucho miedo, sus ojos muy grandes. Fue la primera vez que lo habia sentido. Pienso que el no sabia que hubiera temblores aqui.” (And my boy didn’t even know what was happening. He was so scared. His eyes were so wide. It was the first time that he had even felt one and I don’t even think he even knew that there were earthquakes here.) So I became the evening chisme, the scared gringo.

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