Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The 6th of April

Well, I should have blogged about this yesterday actually, but blame my stupid internet connection.

Last year, today was very different than today now. Today last year was the day after L'aquila's Earthquake.
For some strange coincidence, the day before it I was studying earthquakes , so when at three a.m. everything started to shake I was thinking: "Oh god, that's what comes out of studying too I even dream of these things! Duh!"
But then I saw my mother shouting to get to the main columns, and hurry, come on! Oddly, the fact that there was a real earthquake going on stuck me as funny. It was strong. I could feel the walls and the ground trembling strongly with a huge roar all around and stuff falling down.
I told my mother and sister that we should not go down until it ended because the stairs would be the first things to crumble down. Not that my sister was listening much. 

As soon as it ended everyone rushed down the stairs, with the old lady downstairs saying:  "What? What's this? Ee-eeeh, I'm old, d'I have to do all these stairs! Four floors? Eh! Eh! I'm so lonely!"
Then we arrived on the streets, where lots of people sat in the little piazza near our house. There was a kid seriously worried about having left his goldfish in his house. He kept saying that he wanted it to his disgrunteled mother who was venting about her house having fallen down on her as she and her son run away.

By now I was beginning to think I was seriously sick, since I still found the whole situation kind of funny. And if not funny, kind of...normal. Not scary though. Evidently people around me didn't feel the same way.

We then went to a friend's house because my sister plainly refused to go back to our house. She didn't go back for about two weeks, in fact, except for one time-and that one time there was another earthquake, the left-over from the first one.

I stopped finding everything funny when they started elencating the deaths. A mother and her baby. 2. A student. 3. An old couple. 6.
The death toll quickly got longer. By morning we were at 227. Every now and then they announced someone else. We turned off the tv at some point, because listening to all the dead people isn't particularly pleasant and there was nothing else on.

At the end they got to 309. 309 deaths. Not many, if you consider how many die everyday from hunger, illness, and whatever other reasons, but still...

We lost about one month of school for that Earthquake, because it turned out most schools weren't safe. And you know, they only notice that after the earthquake. And there were teachers in mourning or in search of a new home and stuff.

It is very, very strange to think now about the way things were today last year. Everyone has forgotten and got on with their lives, which is good and all...but there are still people in L'aquila and around living in tents. Because the money meant to build the houses disappeared in thin air. And do you think the ones that have been built are actually safe? I have my doubts.

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