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Cantabrians keep humor in the hardship

Even though the inhabitants of Christchurch (Cantabrians) have had a nonstop year of hardships, they have kept their humor. A local named Bruce Raines started a “You know you are from Christchurch when…” Facebook page and solicited comments, from which he then published a book.

“You know you are from Christchurch when…”

  1. Half the kids are from broken homes.

  2. You tell the kids that Santa will land on the lawn where the chimney is now.

  3. Before you fly out of Christchurch, the pilot announces that the turbulence will subside when we leave the ground.

  4. Suddenly you don’t mind doorknockers [unscheduled visitors], as most bring gifts now.

  5. You sleep in one suburb, shower in another, collect water in another and go to the toilet where you can, and still smile and greet people like you are one big family.

  6. Liquefaction becomes slang: That guy is full of liquefaction; I had a bad takeaway last night, which gave me a bad case of liquefaction. And you change the words to the Rolling Stones’ song, “I can’t get no….”

  7. You see a lovely park in another city and think it might make a good evacuation point.

  8. After another aftershock hits, the family takes guesses at magnitude and location.

  9. Your choice of clothes in the morning is determined by sniffing them.

  10. The only items you have on the shelves are things you want to claim insurance on.

  11. Water is as exciting as beer.

  12. The local drunk staggers, when sober.

  13. The idea of drinking straight tap water scares you more than earthquakes.

  14. Your cell phone vibrates, and you jump under a table.

  15. Your children are excited about being back in school instead of complaining about it.

  16. Your kitchen cupboards have bungee cords holding them closed to stop things falling out during aftershocks.

  17. The For Sale sign reads: This sand comes with a house.

  18. You go out on Friday night and do a long, drunk walk home, and you have the pick of the toilets on the way.

  19. You are happy to be constipated.

  20. City humidity is up 80 percent due to boiling water.

 

Scott Burns

Burns is a geology professor at Portland State University in Oregon who specializes in geological hazards. He lived outside of Christchurch from 1980 to 1981, and still has many friends there. He was in Christchurch the week before the Sept. 4, 2010, quake and was in Auckland the day of the quake.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 14:30