On Tuesday, I thought I was dying. I was maybe a third of the way through my run when I started to feel faint and started to lose my vision. I literally could not see, and that scared the shit out of me. Everything went super photo-sensitive – bright, white and spotty. I could only make out the world around me, vaguely, through this haze of light. Luckily, I know those roads well, and I managed to continue walking along more or less blind until I reached the shade and my eyesight began to return.
Lesson learned: Do not run at midday in the height of summer. And wear sunglasses, maybe. Dehydration isn’t fun, kids.
Then I got a call from work. Another quake in Christchurch. A big one. My issues kind of paled in comparison.
Between my faint spell and finishing off a freelance project, I hadn’t had time to get online all day. Which is very rare for me. But before I went to bed, I checked my email. What do you know…some of my bloggy friends were worried about me and wanted to know I was okay! (Who says Americans are self-centred?) And they’re smart too; as my blog title suggests, I’m in Auckland. And a quick Google will show you that Christchurch is in the South Island, down the other end of the country.
NZ has been through a tough year. It’s been an eventful year, a good year, I guess, to work in news. It’s also been a depressing year – all the stories about the ever-rising cost of living – rent, petrol food, national debt, car crashes, drownings, baby deaths, and now, on the heels of Pike River, a second massive Christchurch quake – this time a deadly one. People from all walks of life. Including, to date, at least one journalist, killed when the newsroom collapsed.
I’m sad that I never got to see Christchurch before all this happened. I don’t know what it will look like by the time we get to do our road trip, but it will never be the same. I wonder, in one or two or five years, how many people will still live there; I think it’s safe to say nobody will want to insure any Cantabrian houses after this.
Hug your loved ones. Get insurance. And donate whatever you can – it’s going to be a slow and expensive process to rebuild the Garden City.