“What are all those people doing out in the street?” asked Julia. “Uuh, I don’t know, but that has to be one of the most impressive groups of rubberneckers I have ever seen in my life” I commented as we wandered down the well-worn streets of Georgetown on Penang Island, Malaysia. Dozens ambled up and down the sidewalk, even more in the street, all staring down the road like a flaming car had just crashed into a fireworks store Naked Gun style. Before I decided to wade into the crowd and tell them “there’s nothing to see here” like Lt. Frank Drebin, I decided to ask an shirtless older gentleman gawker just what the heck was going on. During our brief but confusing English-Malay conversation, the only thing I could make out in his response was the word “shaking” and an accompanying hand motion. There were obviously only two possibilities. Either he was a proud member of the Eddie Money fan club like my friend Tim from college or something was literally shaking. Either way, we didn’t think much of it and continued home to our air-conditioned igloo. Yeah, so it turns out there had actually been an earthquake.
|obliviously admiring my iced coffee|
|proceed as planned Penang|
Luckily a few hours and one jarring aftershock later, the virtual all clear was called. I chalked it up to one more travel right of passage passed and practice at putting on a calm face in the event something "crazy" ever really happens out here. Now I know very well that the odds of slipping on a roller skate at the top of the stairs or choking on a chicken wing at home is still a much more likely cause of my demise than a natural disaster abroad, but it can't hurt to be prepared, just in case, right? Oh, and if you are reading this Mom, please disregard that whole thing about the aftershock being jarring, it was no big deal, and the more I think about it was more of a gentle rocking back-and-forth.
"Shakin'" by Eddie Money
Album: No Control