Today, I experienced the first earthquake of my life!
According to the AP:
Authorities say a 5.5-magnitude earthquake has struck eastern Taiwan rattling buildings in Taipei but causing no casualties or damage.
The Central Weather Bureau says the quake struck at 2:10 p.m. Sunday (0610 GMT). It was centered about 9 miles (15 kilometers) off the eastern city of Hualien some 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of the capital.
So, I was in class teaching on the 42nd floor of a building in Taichung (western Taiwan) when my student took a couple troubled breaths and let out a stutter "E..e...ee..eearth qqquake."
This particular student is known for spewing random, completely unrelated things durring class, so I was a bit confused. My typical response is to simpy ignore her, and I was about to do just that when another student repeated the statement a bit more assertively. It was then that I finally shut up and let myself experience it.
The quake only lasted a couple of seconds and was really just a minor rumbling... Had my students not pointed it out, I probably would have continued rattling on and not even noticed it; but it was pretty cool! A little shaky feeling in my tummy and bottom (a bit like indigestion). Anytime I want to repeat this experience, I can just go down the street, buy dumplings, and wait 45 minutes!
And now I can add "earthquake survivor" to my list of life's accomplishments!