Moving from the U.K. to Japan, one of the first things you might worry about is the likelihood of earthquakes. Having a country sitting on top of four tectonic plates tends to have that effect.
In all my time in Nagoya though, I only experienced one earthquake, and even that was barely noticeable, at least for the people around me. I mean, for me it was still really weird. It took a moment for my brain to wrap around what was happening, and it was sort of like when you stand up too fast and the world tilts a little, except it was actually tilting a little. With no basis for the experience, I sort of realised what was happening on one level, but it took a second for the rest of my brain to catch up. Then obviously I made a foreigner fuss about it being my first earthquake.
There were literally teachers coming into the room a few minutes later who hadn’t felt a thing.
For a while after I first moved to my flat, I actually thought I was experiencing pretty regular earthquakes, but only noticed them when I was in bed because I wasn’t moving around. It took a good month or so before I realised it was just when strong wind shook the apartment building a bit.
The only other earthquake-related experience I had was when there was an earthquake simulation at school. It wasn’t a drill, so everyone just kind of carried on what they were doing while it played over the speakers. It actually took me a while to register that there was something unusual about the sound of the alarm. I can be ridiculously unobservant sometimes.
The oddest part was that, after the alarm ended, they then played what seemed to be an ‘earthquake soundtrack’ over the loudspeakers, which basically was just a recording of shit falling and breaking all over the place.
Suffice to say I now feel as though I have the full experience of a medium-scale earthquake.