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Did the Earth Move For You Darling? (True story) (standard:other, 1101 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: May 29 2004Views/Reads: 2778/1298Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
It was rumoured that, within two days, some enterprising Turkish businessman had tee-shirts, printed with the words ‘I SURVIVED THE MARMARIS EARTHQUAKE’, on sale – though we never actually saw any.

Did the Earth Move For You Darling? (True story) 

© 2003 Ian Hobson 

It was rumoured that, within two days, some enterprising Turkish
businessman had tee-shirts, printed with the words ‘I SURVIVED THE 
MARMARIS EARTHQUAKE', on sale – though we never actually saw any. 

It happened during our second Turkish holiday.  During the first, two
years earlier, we'd not felt even the slightest tremor.  I even recall 
being a little disappointed at the time, because a friend had told us 
that there was a good chance that we would. 

Once again we were staying in Icmeler in south-west Turkey, smaller and
quieter than the major resort of Marmaris, just a couple of miles along 
the coast.  We love the way Icmeler nestles into the surrounding 
pine-clad hillsides, and the curve of the bay, and the way that the 
small islands that surround it give it a lakeside feel.  It's a great 
place to relax and watch the world go by; most of it going by in the 
small boats and water taxis that chug over to Marmaris and back with 
their red Turkish flags flapping in the breeze. 

And, of course, Turkey is a vast country, stuffed with history and many
historical sites well worth visiting.  And by the middle of our second 
week we had visited several, not least Pamukkale to the north, where we 
swam in The Great Thermal Baths - an old Roman bath, complete with 
tumbled down marble pillars and crystal-clear mineral water that 
bubbles above and below the surface like champagne. 

Not that we were done with sightseeing.  We had another excursion
planned for the next day, and had arranged an early call to be sure of 
not missing the coach that was to collect us at 6.30am.  But as it 
turned out, we didn't need the call when it came; we had already had 
one at 4am. 

You might think that being woken in the early hours by a giant who
shakes your bed from side to side, whilst his cavernous belly rumbles, 
would leave you at a loss to know what was happening.  But like they 
say in job advertisements: previous experience is not essential.  We 
knew exactly what it was: an earthquake. 

It was still dark outside, but there was enough light in the bedroom to
see that the electric light fitting was swinging, and that the 
freestanding wardrobe was not so much free to stand, as free to rock 
about as though auditioning for Disney's Fantasia.  We heard something 
fall and hit the bathroom floor, and outside something made of glass 
shattered as it hit the concrete.  By now, without instruction from me, 
my left hand had set off across the bed and met my wife's right hand 
coming the other way.  We lay there, hand in hand, half fascinated and 
half frightened, until it stopped, suddenly, as though somewhere in the 
earth's basement a switch had been thrown and a circuit broken.  The 
light fitting continued to swing to and fro. 

The quake - a 5.3 on the Richter scale, we later learned - had lasted
only seven seconds.  And for as many seconds after, there was silence 
until it was broken by the sound of doors being opened, and voices, and 
footsteps on the stairway.  I got out of bed and reached for something 
to cover my nakedness before stepping out onto the balcony.  We were on 
the second floor, and I heard a female voice below say ‘Do you think we 
should wake everyone up?'  I leaned over the balustrade and said ‘I 
think you'll find they're already awake.' 

Most of the guests seemed to be leaving the building and were gathering
around the bar and swimming pool.  But I went back through to the 
bedroom, where my wife was still in bed, and climbed in beside her, 
knowing that if I was too scared to go back to bed, that I'd be too 
scared to go to bed the following night and for the rest of the 
holiday.  There was an aftershock then, as the janitor in the earth's 
basement made and then broke the circuit once more; just to make sure 
that fear still lurked in our minds. 

For a while, we clung to each other, and then tried to go back to sleep
but, of course, we couldn't.  So we were up in plenty of time for the 
coach, which was late.  When finally it arrived and we set off, there 
were further delays, as people who were supposed to be waiting outside 

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