I have been out thinking about what to write for the past couple of weeks. Write something else about Christmas in Puerto Rico, maybe some family stuff; I was not sure about something that would make people read my post. But I got a signal dressed as an earthquake.
Last Monday, January 13, at 12:01 a.m. – the first minute of the day – Puerto Rico shook, and according to the Richter scale, it did for 6.4 degrees. How long was that shaking for? I don’t have any idea, and I don’t really care. It was terrible, and to make matters worse, there was another one. The second one was as bad as the first, and people freaked out. Why did we freak out? Because it was scary. Why did we freak out as we did as still talking about it today, and tomorrow? Because we are Boricuas! And to say it in a different slang, because we roll like that!!!
For us Boricuas this is something huge. Huge like an impeachment (long word?), huge like Batman getting a beating from Robin, huge like the dog that died in Family Guy. I mean, it’s HUGE. We have survived hurricanes, to the point where we laugh when we see people in the United States running like crazy to protect their houses in a simple mini storm. A hurricane for us is like a present in Christmas season for kids, we get them every single year. But the earth shaking like that!?!?!? That’s a different story.
Nobody can get ready for an earthquake. I mean, we don’t know when there arriving or where are they coming from; there is no way to know what to expect from them. Can we have a plan to deal with it when the occasion arrives? Yes, we can, but then again we are Boricuas. We tend to leave stuff to the last minute, and in the case of a shaking from hell, the last minute is when we are in the middle of it.
The reaction on the god forshaking (get it?) day was amazing. Social networks had the busiest day ever. People wrote the same thing for the first couple of minutes after the shake: “did the earth just shake?”, “Ay santo, esta mierda tembló (Oh Lord, this shit just shook)!” One of my friends even asked a neighbor if she was ok. I mean, can you walk out and ask face to face? You need to take your phone and start writing? But after a couple of minutes, the funny people got on board too: “After shake party at my house”, “Please God, don’t let my beer bottle be broken!”, and stuff like that.
And God comes back into our lives. People start praying more and asking for blessings and thanking God for keeping us away from harm. And other people get mad because those Christians only remember God when something happens, and the atheists get mad because there is no God and we should not be thanking something that does not exist and never will. It’s a funny thing to read!!! Even the news channels have the topic for a couple of days and we get brochures and emails on how to deal with an earthquake in our respective jobs.
Personally, I did not feel the shake. I was watching Breaking Bad, at it was a good episode that required all my attention. But I was working three years ago when on Christmas Eve the earth decided to shake. That was really scary for me and all of my co-workers. And we spoke about it for days, and now that this new one happened, we bring it back. We all remember where we were on 9-11, and everyone in Puerto Rico remembers where they were during this last shake.
My family and I, and I know it’s the same for many families in the Island, will work on an emergency plan so in the future this kind of thing don’t get us con los calzones abajo (without our pants). It is something we all have to do because we have to be ready for this kind of surprise. And things work better when we plan ahead. But we can’t deny it has been a couple of crazy days and all this shaking talk. The only shake we should be doing is the one in Harlem. Until next time, cójanlo suave!
P.S. Here is a link of a news station in Perú that reported the earthquake in their morning show. The visuals they used is not from Puerto Rico. In fact, it’s from an earthquake that happened a couple of years ago somewhere else. They even say the visuals are from what happened. I guess my country is not the only one full of crazy people!