December 28, 2004
It’s quite often enjoyable when, in life, you hear about the number rising. The score in your favourite football or cricket match. The amount of money raised for charity in a specific appeal. The proportion of the electorate’s votes counted for the politician you’re rooting for. etc. etc. etc.
And conversely - it’s often quite sad when the number that’s rising is your age - or the extra amount of tax you have to pay this year - or the number of extra minutes you have to wait for the bus to get you home.
But the emotions associated with these things seem to pale into insignificance when Mother Nature decides to play the game. For me, it’s heartbreaking when it’s the number of souls confirmed dead. Not knowing for a minute what was coming at them. And soul-destroying when you see the number rising by the hour with every news bulletin.
I once looked out from my hotel window and stared at the shanty town opposite. Just inside the walls of the hotel compound was a 5-star swimming pool with tourists sunbathing. Just outside was the flooded shanty town with young children wading through the muddy waters trying to get across the street. It was Kuala Lumpur. In the year 2000 I think. A sight like that is enough to change your politics. Did it change mine? Well - I still have a hard time trying to reconcile with the statement “Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you” - whenever I hear those words.
But nearly 60,000 and rising is depressing. And watching the number rise on 24 hour TV is enough to make me cry.
Posted by jag at December 28, 2004 09:53 PM
Whats worse than the earthquake and the tsunami is the huge health risks that it has caused.
Contaminated water supply, lack of any food and protection, and probably what may be some initial bit of chaos in the relief efforts will all lead to rising toll for the next two days.
It will still take time for everybody to regroup. Reminded of what happens when you disturb a line of ants.
Hi Marcus - you're right re the point on wealth. Thanks for the link suggestions. I'm actually giving through my employer - specially setup a way of donating just yesterday - for every pound given by employees they will match another pound.
Sat: I think you're right. What's worse about the news bulletins is that even now - 5 days after it first occurred - there are still huge areas of the Indonesian coastal communities that haven't even been ventured into yet. I think the rising numbers are now probably uncorroboratable.
Fritz: checked it out - and left a comment too. The can of Guinness (draft Guinness can with widget inside) was a nice touch. I hope you poured it into a glass to get the full effect before drinking it!
Yes a pint glass is required and I have the genuine article. Still Guinness does not taste the same as it does when you go to Ireland and drink it.
Have you seen this Bollywood site yeet? Lots of cool old music downloads.
Hi, I was once in a hotel (3-star) in Barcelona and looked out the window at the vacant block next door which was full of rubbish - some people were living there in a shanty town and I saw them hitting up. Two worlds side by side ... the resort I once stayed at just south of Madras in India was washed away in the tsunami.
Hi Fritz - just had a look at the Bollywood page you referred to. Interesting perspective. Not sure about all the songs featured for download though - my playlist would have been very different. Perhaps the page author didn't have access to a wider range. I usually sample tracks you can stream (albeit at lowish quality) from www.raaga.com - choose Hindi and then click thru to Latest releases. Also - there is a lot of music which is non-cinema - e.g. British Punjabi style which is what I tend to listen to most - more kind of "our generation" music - Club Asia radio station in UK is a great way of getting familar with Indian youth music culture.
However - the article was very interesting to get a feel for a "foriegners" perspective. Thanks!
Susoz: It surprises me that there was shanty town in Barcelona - but I guess I shouldn't be surprised at anything these days.