I have been living without power or water in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner for 5 days now.  As I said in my earlier post on the quake, I am fine, but I have some thoughts to share from the experience thus far.

In no particular order:

  • Christchurch West and East are like two different cities: In the west quite normal (supermarkets and petrol stations all go, I even saw a cafe with people in it).  In the east not so (no power or water; basics is the name of the game here).
  • A dishwasher is a great place to dry dishes when you run out of bench space
  • Sumner is like a ghost town: I figure less than 20% of residents are left at the moment
  • This is gonna take AGES to fix – so much destruction
  • I think Ferry road was the worst hit road (not saying buildings, I mean the actual road surface)
  • Some people drive too fast, but most people drive WAY too slow when traveling around.  20km/h is annoying (and yes, they are rubber necking looking at damage and taking photos from their cars)
  • The sense of comradeship is amazing.  From people being polite to one-another to neighbours checking in to see everyone is OK, to mates offering showers, rooms, food to their friends (and strangers) on FaceBook.  Since I have power via a generator, I have thrown an extension cord over the fence for the neighbour – like me, they have a dog, so leaving isn’t that easy, and a fridge and freezer needs power! (Again like me, they have gas for cooking, and it’s summer, so heating isn’t an issue either).  I figure it is the least I can do.  They keep offering me water, and food and even bones for my dog.  I am well stocked already though.
  • Everyone copes with this in different ways; I remember seeing people crying outside the gym just after it happened – they were unhurt, but that was their way of coping I guess.  Some cope by escaping.   I think I cope by trying to do normal things – like walking the dog, or putting the rubbish out.  Oh I also seem to cope by shopping (mind you I have so much broken stuff, I need to shop!).  Yep, that’s me!
  • Lots of people in Christchurch are drinking their best wine.
  • It’s surprising the number of people who say I am out of here, and don’t plan to live in Christchurch again.
  • Every now and again I feel guilty when I am sitting down and not fixing something or doing something (a new feeling)
  • I want to go to the gym soon.
  • Having a shower is one of life’s simple pleasures.  When you haven’t had one for a day (or more), having one makes me feel human again
  • Seeing portaloos dropped of by the dozen around your suburb means (1) I’ll have somewhere to go and (2) it’s gonna be a while b4 sewerage is back on
  • I never realised how much water washing dishes takes (you notice it when you have bottled water from the supermarket as your only water!)

I have said it before, but I will say it again.  Broken STUFF doesn’t matter.  People do.

Stay safe, tell those you care for that you do.

Stay safe, tell those you care for that you do.  Kia kaha Christchurch.

Black and White Version: Life isn’t returning to normal very quickly, but I am trying to speed it up a tad where I can.

PS: Big thanks to Glen T for proofreading this.  You are a star!




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