Day Six

Sep. 10th, 2010 12:46 am
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[personal profile] cataragon
Last night I slept, long and hard, and didn't wake for any aftershocks.
It seems like a few more other people did too, at least in my social group.

It made today a little better for me, and hopefully for others. The aftershocks aren't bothering me as much now, and mostly I'm just waiting to see if we get a big one. The under 5.0 magnitude ones are fine.

I spent the afternoon with some girlfriends, chatting, but couldn't bring myself to do some sewing. I just don't have the concentration at all. I can barely sit still through a 45 minute TV show.

I'm still a bit jumpy, and a little uneasy in bed in the dark, and sometimes just overcome with emotion, generally sadness. It's hard to watch places that have just lived in the background of my life for years so damaged, or being pulled down.

I am, however, pretty proud of myself - given my mental health history, particularly my existing PTSD, I think I've done pretty well to keep as calm as I have. I've kept busy, been active, eaten regularly, stayed social, checked on others, rationalised my thoughts, allowed myself space to be not entirely okay - all the Good Things. And it's helped, and I'm doing pretty well, actually.

Random Things:

There was a double rainbow in Christchurch late this afternoon, caused by a sort of Spring drizzle, the kind that smells fresh and clear. It was sort of bittersweet to see.

It's odd to walk or drive around and not see anyone who is relaxed and happy. People aren't all neccesarily sad or stressed looking, but no-one looks carefree.

It was hard for me today to see them pulling down buildings on Riccarton Road. The funny little shops along there normally seem like just a continuous flow, and now there's gaps, like teeth missing.
I think bits of the inner city are going to be like that, when they are finally opened up properly again. I've heard the joke a couple of times today "Manchester Street, no longer the red light district, now the red sticker district" in reference to the free access, restricted access, no access papers they are slapping up on inspected buildings around town. Red doesn't mean demo, neccesarily, but it certainly means extensive work. Green doesn't mean fine, either, just that it's been assessed as currently safe to be in, via a quick visual check. Yellow means some access as detailed, and I've seen some stuff that was yellow stickered yesterday up for demolition today.

My favourite Indian restaurant, Copper Chime, on Colombo, apparently has a yellow sticker. I don't know what that will mean in the longer term. Canterbuy Cheesemongers, which is one of my favourite Christchurch shops, was told today that their lease was terminated as the building was untenantable, which is heartbreaking. They don't have lost earnings insurance, and I don't know if we'll ever get them back. The Daily Bagel was a goner as soon as the quake hit, and has been demolished already.
Officials are now worried about the tower above Science Alive, on Moorhouse, in the old railway station building. My hairdresser sent out an email saying their salon is "trashed", whatever that means.

The stories keep coming. Some are in rumour form, which you hope desperately aren't true. Some you see yourself, some come through official channels.

What is becoming more and more apparent, though, is that enough is gone to mean that *my* Christchurch isn't going to exist in the same form as before, and that that will probably be true for almost everyone. I will miss favourite restaurants, ingredient sources, craft shops, pretty buildings. For someone else it might be their home, their camping store, or that cafe where the coffee is just right.

But I think we're all going to be missing something.

On the other hand, Dan and I went out with a friend who needed cheering up tonight, and because my favourite Chinese restaurant was super busy and had no free tables, and my second favourite Chinese restaurant has closed up shop and my third favourite Chinese restaurant is smack in the middle of a cordon, in an unknown state of repair, we found a totally new one, and had dim sum which was really delicious, and awesome, and I might never have found that at all otherwise.
And the act of sitting in a restaurant with a friend was soothing to my soul, and afterwards I felt much better about the world generally.

So there's that.

Date: 2010-09-10 09:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The demolitions have affected me as well, it has been difficult to see - from a distance now that I live in Auckland - places such as the Daily Bagel, Alva Rados, and all the other peripheral places that you never noticed until now, being knocked down. I will miss them, even though I'm not amongst them every day anymore.

I'm due for a trip down in October, I'm sure it will feel a bit strange.

In my head, over the past few days, I have been throwing around the idea of what actually makes a city - is the people or the places?

After some some thought, I have concluded it is both - but now that the city has changed, will the people have changed too?

Date: 2010-09-10 10:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have driven across CHCH twice in the last two days and the route I took each time there was hardly any visible damage, a brick fence or two toppled. Its totally bizarre that you can drive through town and see nothing much in the way of damage.

We have been told we are able to go into work on Monday afternoon, have to meet at a hotel for a safety briefing first. Given we occupy the 2nd 6th and 7th floors of our building (its 10 floors high) that makes sense. Will be interesting to see how the day goes with shocks. All those fire drills will finally pay off - will be making sure to wear SENSIBLE shoes for the first week at least.

I know what you mean about the lack of carefree or relaxed people. I have been back nearly 48 hours and I am sick of the shocks. And the cats only notice them if they are awake LOL Luckily both have been happily sleeping on the bed and I am keeping them inside esp at night.

And the missing teeth analogy is so much the case. I think some of those holes will ache for us for a while. I am not aware if any of *my* special places are gone but I expect there will be something.

So where is this great new dim sum place?


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