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|Did the Earth Move For You Darling? (True story) (standard:other, 1101 words)|
|Author: Ian Hobson||Added: May 29 2004||Views/Reads: 2536/1162||Story 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 Click here to read the rest of this story (36 more lines)
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