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Joe - Canterbury earthquakes 2011

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in [00:00:05] I'm Joe I'm 30 nearly 31 which is scary. Just a pretty wild and so typical transgender guy [00:00:15] I live in sprayed and now but when the September one hit, I was living in some mountains. [00:00:20] Can you describe St. Martin's to what what kind of housing is there? Um, [00:00:25] it's probably middle class upper middle class little housing. [00:00:30] It's right at the bottom of the health over Port Hills. So it's quite nice. It's a nice family so Olivia just why like to live there. [00:00:39] What kind of houses [00:00:41] I'm sort of an interesting mix is a mix of really, really old ones early 1900s in pretty much everything is everything through there really ugly 70s stuff brought up to really modern things. The old one typically made of wood. But I think most of the newer ones from the sort of 60s onwards a brick stone [00:01:05] and what were you living? [00:01:07] I think my house was made out of stuff from the dump from what I can tell [00:01:12] nominally kind of stone type stuff, but it was it a bit of plywood and all this stuff. And I was on piles which was not a bonus at all. [00:01:22] So September 4, 2010 [00:01:26] there was a major earthquake in Christchurch. We were you. [00:01:30] I was actually awake which is amazing. No one else was awake. I was in bed watching YouTube with a cup of coffee. [00:01:37] Because this is about [00:01:38] for a more I am yet you just workin up for the day. [00:01:44] Yeah, that was why I never felt anything like it. It's like, okay, what's happening? Oh, my God, sort of thing. And spilled my coffee on my laptop of job sent me a lot actually probably upset me more than the earthquake at the start. Because I didn't really realize how bad things were. Oh no, my laptop I just bought there was like trying to tip the coffee off and I can hear my flatmate screaming Joe The house is going to kill us because there's actually quite a bit in a critical that side. So we sort of ran out of time during all to do after that. It was probably about 30 seconds. But that was pretty major 30 seconds it was rough. [00:02:22] In what way what what was the house doing? [00:02:25] And the whole house was well our house we were was just shaking, the whole thing was quite violent one from what I can remember anyway. And just everything started falling over or CDs stereos everything out of the cupboards in the kitchen fridge lit the fridge fell over. Washing Machine came across the kitchen at us, which was empty conical [00:02:46] kits out the door. pot plants everywhere. Basically everything that could fall over did fall over with spices in the middle of the floor. And yeah. So everybody just stood around. So I know for better probably about half an hour and we're thinking Oh, god, what do we do because we had no power or anything like that. So we couldn't even really see what the damage was. And after that, I just went back to bed. That [00:03:10] must have been quite weird actually. Like the power cut instantly. [00:03:15] Yeah. Oh, well, I probably a power for about 10 seconds. I was chatting online. Like oh my god, it's quite boy. It was [00:03:27] like the person I was talking to was currently trying to text me for the next God knows how long he didn't he have it for me. He's like, oh my god. But yeah, that was scary. And then the power's out for for us probably half a day. [00:03:39] So what was it like? racing outside? This is like 4am in the morning racing inside pitch black. [00:03:46] Really cold? Really? Yeah. It was cold. [00:03:50] sucks because nobody really had time to grab the dressing gown or anything like that. So we're all just in our PJs boxes and whatnot. I've never seen my neighbors in their underwear before it was it was pretty random actually. room was like oh my god and some people were crying and I'm gonna sort of standing on the doorstep thinking now what do we do because you just never prepared for that sort of thing. [00:04:11] So pretty much everyone just get it on the straight excellent, which is quite nice. I didn't know most of my neighbors but I didn't really seem to matter that much. Which is still without to the straight and like oh, God is everyone. Okay. And then I think most of us were made to be what can you do? four in the morning. [00:04:28] Can you describe what other people's reactions want? [00:04:33] A few people were crying. [00:04:36] my flatmate was pretty scared. I think he didn't want to go back to bead officers really tired. Guys beat it. Okay, but [00:04:47] a fever. The main down was stupid, angry. swearing and stuff. I think they'll just there was shocked as much as anyone else. But it's just the way they're reacting to it. I was thinking up I [00:04:58] hope it I have to go to work in the morning. But it was a bit of a range of everything. Really. Some people will cry little kids are crying because I didn't really understand even what it was. [00:05:09] Most people will call in the pits if they had them. Including me. [00:05:13] What What happened to your cat. [00:05:17] My cat came back within a couple of hours. Alex's kick took a couple of days. Some people never got the pits back. Me for us out here. He wasn't there badly hit in September. So most of our kids did come back. Sort of pretty angry. Like what have you done to my house kind of thing? Where's my food? [00:05:38] Yeah, that's pretty good that time around. [00:05:39] So at the time, in the early morning, could you see if there was any damage to the house? Or? Or do you just go back in and think it was it was okay. [00:05:48] When you everything had fallen over using the lights on our cell phones and going back this big mess in the kitchen and bookcases and everything and we started picking a couple of things up but then the stuffs dark. There's not really any point. And we're still getting the old aftershock as well. So that's my point picking anything up until they stop? Because at that point, we thought that they would stop. Silly us. And yeah, I think we just went back to be there for about half an hour now. Doctors deal with it in a few hours since its light [00:06:24] to the aftershocks ski. [00:06:27] I think they did the end because we never knew whether they're going to be another big one or not. [00:06:34] Some of them did end up being quite big. [00:06:37] So now I wouldn't think twice about it. Or whatever. [00:06:43] Then we were like oh my god, what's going to happen next could be worse. You never know. [00:06:47] Because they've been involved with earthquakes in Christchurch prior to this and you have [00:06:51] just a few really small ones. nothing compared to what we felt. [00:06:56] Just the odd one people would come into work I feel the earthquake right quite last night and be like a 2.2 or something. The light light bulb was swaying. So I never felt anything like it but I know that there have been a few [00:07:11] I can't remember any. [00:07:12] So the morning rolls around don't light comes up yet. What do you do? [00:07:17] Um, I went outside take a look really on but nobody wanted to see if anyone's house was mounted. But just the neighbors that I knew just wanted to see if they were okay. Look the cats that sort of thing. [00:07:30] And everybody was sort of out on the street by the and just having a bit of a chat. So as the house you Okay, no one had power. So [00:07:39] a couple of people had fires and they were making cups of tea for people and stuff like that, which was nice. And people starting to pick stuff up in their houses. Were still having aftershocks though so they get to [00:07:51] Was there any form of communication like phone, TV, radio? [00:07:57] no cell phones came on pretty quickly. [00:08:02] Compared to February anyway, it wasn't too bad there was radio which was all right. I think I had cell phone back by mid morning at 11 o'clock [00:08:15] the listening to the radio on my car and that was pretty much it trying to get hold of my parents who said we only use our cell phone an emergency so turned off 7.1 earthquake is obviously not an emergency [00:08:30] for the old people [00:08:35] I thought you were did [00:08:38] Yeah, but I had to go to work at eight so completely Yeah, lucky me working in a warehouse at that point. So you know to go in and assist the damage and pretty much everything was on the floor. But there wasn't really a lot we could do at home anyway. right we're sort of just pottering around picking up a few things and [00:09:00] did a couple of hours of that and I got a call from work so I just went in just started picking up stuff there instead I think it was actually good to be out of the house and away from the panic so it gave me something to do which was good [00:09:13] with your house and in your area with their houses that were actually kind of structurally damaged or was it more to stop falling over? [00:09:20] I think we're pretty lucky and I area that time and I'm a witness house last few officers chimney and part of the roof some the chimney falling in a few houses had a wee bit of damage but they usually pretty good though livable anyway the wind anything really major [00:09:37] so we were lucky your house was pretty much okay the front door didn't shut but [00:09:43] because [00:09:45] the overall kind of emotional response to that first earthquake How did you feel was it kind of scared anxious or that a [00:09:55] charter member some kind of like a hot ass about and I'm trying to remember what is he thinking at a time [00:10:03] I don't think I really thought was anything too major. But for me personally me in the people I care about moral pretty lucky so I didn't really know anyone who got hurt or no one's house really got damaged that badly. So definitely affect me as much as I thought it would I think that just pissed off more than anything because of work and it was the major cleanup job at work and I was like oh this is gonna suck [00:10:30] So apart from that and just getting aftershocks for the nights we were sleeping that well so everyone was sort of just a little bit more grumpy that we normally would be [00:10:39] when your cell phone came back on Did you have heaps of messages from people saying you know him [00:10:44] yeah mostly from people I know overseas who heard it see make news pretty much everywhere haven't heard from you hope you're not did lots of those please text me back [00:11:00] from lumps anywhere okay. [00:11:02] But if they were able to turn the cell phone on [00:11:09] what about even kind of navigating around try streets when you're going to work? Was that tricky? Or well I mean was liquefaction happening and [00:11:18] actually get much over outside of town that time so wasn't too bad was more people just panicking and didn't other nosy people wanted to see damage I went for a drive the middle of town just to see you know what it was like see me see that it was more people just panicking and all my god we're not going to get petrol ever that sort of thing [00:11:42] Yeah, so within many people kind of sightseeing [00:11:45] yeah Yeah, yeah. I think they just looked at the mess in the house and thought not not dealing with it right now might as well try and see what everyone else is up to [00:11:54] was a bit of a mission of sorta miss you to start when I have to deal with and still do some cooking oil and washing patterns like [00:12:04] often look at somebody else's did [00:12:07] So how long did it take for you to clean up the place? [00:12:10] I don't like miss that probably took me a couple of days just after work weekend wasn't too bad that in my flatmate wasn't working I think so he just [00:12:22] cleaned up [00:12:23] and he got me up on back into the fridge, the [00:12:25] washing machine massive washing machine in oven everything back and we had power back pretty early so she wasn't that bad. [00:12:32] So the aftershocks today just continue to happen after September [00:12:37] Yep, we a few round five mark and they're pretty that's big enough where we sort of stop for a second did still and think is this going to be another big one? anything smaller than that and we'll just stop for a second Well that was a decent one and a half ago. But the bigger ones we just never know because it sounds exactly the same as when the big one tip they all start out the same way. [00:13:01] And it's that's the scariest noise for me now is just hearing an earthquake coming It's just horrible. What does it sound like? Sounds like a trucks coming past it's just this sort of like rumbling sound to now pretty much every time a truck drive past me anywhere I to stop quick trains or anything I just like oh my god. So that's quite lucky actually still fix this like that. And it affects everyone even when I was overseas last year I was in America, and a truck drove past tonight is frozen. earthquake. And my friends are just staring at me like what is he on drugs? [00:13:40] So that's how it starts off? How does the sound change? [00:13:44] Um, I don't really know, I think the sound starts and then when everything starts shaking, we just sort of forget about the sound ago. Okay. I think most of us don't even bother getting under the doorways or under things anymore. We just can't be bothered that the first time and then the after shots we did the first few times and then thought I [00:14:07] can't be bothered. Stay really still. And unless it gets worse, we just stay there. And then we carry on. After that September [00:14:13] earthquake it was as of I remember in the media that I was saying, Oh, you know Christchurch has miraculous miraculously escaped with no injuries. [00:14:23] Were really fortunate somebody was smiling ours, was there any thought that there was going to be another big one coming up, and that would cause so much damage? [00:14:33] I think the scientists, pessimistic scientists always saying that they're still saying that now Oh, you're going to get a nine, something like that. But there's no point thinking about it. A few people I know did get quite emotionally invested in the whole earthquake thing. And they kind of obsess over it, and what's going to happen next, but I think the rest of us would rather just kill it. Because it's gonna hit if it's gonna hit, there's nothing we can do. And we can do is just make sure we've got it. Civil Defense, really, and [00:15:03] try to be safe as we can. And that's what we can do now. So you They also say we're going to get another one and I'm saying the whole time or this could be the first in a series of big earthquakes, but I don't think we really want to know about them. I don't think we do now either. It's not worth worrying about. [00:15:18] So did you have a civil defense kits prior to September one? [00:15:21] Yeah. Which is amazing, because I'm not usually that grown up, but it smashed in the earthquake because the bookcase fell out. Which was ironic, and quite funny. Actually. [00:15:33] The bookcase fell on a civil defense kit. That's quite funny. Except now we have no water. Okay. [00:15:42] Bad to laugh, though. It was just irony its base. [00:15:46] So almost six months later, on the 22nd February, there was another big earthquake, I think was about 6.3. Yeah, we we fled. [00:15:54] I was at work. Pretty much a senior town slightly east. They got hit pretty hard. [00:16:02] I was driving the forklift down an aisle of [00:16:06] either side of the aisle were stacked up 205 liter drums of oil. So that was scary. They didn't actually fall down. But I was incredibly lucky. [00:16:17] You know, the whole forklift was just rolling from side to side. And I was like, What do I do now? So I have a set. And that that was absolutely terrifying. [00:16:27] Neither was liquefaction pouring out of the ground and the ground was will cracked. And you know, the truck that I was working on was just rolling from side to side and it was a mess of truck. So that was terrifying. Like million times worse than September. [00:16:45] That was during the day. So more people were out and about which was really unfortunate. [00:16:50] When you were in the forklift, could you actually hear the earthquake coming or [00:16:54] I didn't hear it coming because I was on the forklift, which is pretty noisy. So the on everything was just shaking in rolling backwards and forwards, it was pretty scary. The whole thing was a pretty stable. But that was I just had to brace myself and nearly took over. So that was scary. [00:17:13] Really scary. [00:17:14] How many people working in the warehouse? [00:17:16] Probably about what I mean that six of us there at the time. [00:17:21] Now it's a big open yard with three different warehouses and office. [00:17:27] I was the only person on that one. And they were few others scattered around a couple of shipping containers. She would have been quite scary to those things, the whole shipping containers and moving [00:17:38] and all this stuff was falling down. [00:17:41] That must be really surreal. Where the whole everything around you is just another state of movement. Yeah, it was pretty freaky. [00:17:49] was anything holding up those drums? Or were they just staying there by themselves sustainable themselves? And that was because I was so heavy. Yeah, [00:17:56] yeah. Ah, pellets about a ton. So even lighter would have been I like all the other stuff that we had in the White House like toilet paper and stuff stacked up that was just everywhere. [00:18:05] So if they've actually fallen over would that have been pretty much curtains view? [00:18:11] I don't know how much the roll cage on a forklift can take but of a hotel. I have them before and over that would have been pretty nasty. I imagine it would have at least dented it and I could have been quite unlucky. Get my forklift before I run a drama forum at the deed so scary. [00:18:30] So when that's happening, what's going through your head? [00:18:33] I hope I don't have to stay at work. [00:18:36] Pretty much. [00:18:38] Please don't let me stay at work. started freaking out. I thought this is so much worse than the last one. Our house is going to be absolutely mounted. I wonder what the kids are doing. One of my flatmates doing and my parents are ok. Now I just want to get home pretty much [00:18:55] so really been through one of those quake so had that sense of impending doom really. [00:19:00] It's a lot longer because it was so dead. [00:19:04] Some people say like an excellence how time slows down. Everything's on slow motion to you. Was that a kind of feeling your head? Yeah. [00:19:12] It was horrible. It seemed like a lot longer than it actually was. [00:19:15] And what about the noise? [00:19:19] That was pretty extreme because all the concrete was ripping up. And it was liquefaction just pouring out of the ground and you hear people screaming, which was horrible. People from the place across the road must screaming and [00:19:31] all my workmates swearing and me swearing and his stuff crashing over everything cars. [00:19:39] Had you ever experienced liquefaction before? No. That is really weird as it's freaky stuff, [00:19:46] this nightmare. [00:19:48] So it literally does concrete. But you know, just pay them just kind of turn into a liquidity kind of [00:19:54] thing near the ground just splits open in this mud. Liquid month just come up just nuts. And it just comes pouring out what the guy there. It's crazy. [00:20:07] Now, so cars just face down, like just driven into this big pool of liquefaction. And it's crazy lampposts to just halfway down the hole. And [00:20:19] so where you were, how deep was the liquefaction? [00:20:23] Probably about six inches to a foot right through the yard and through the way houses and stuff. [00:20:31] And so suddenly you find yourself walking through like a fort worth of yet muddy slush. Yep, can you? Can you describe what that kind of slush was like? [00:20:39] steak really, really? wit? Slightly mud? Pretty much? Yeah, I've never really seen anything like it. Since it's just crazy stuff. We didn't really know what to do. So just kept coming. When's it gonna stop coming out? When can we start cleaning up and try to go home because we just didn't know it was going to stop or if it was going to stop. [00:20:59] So just going back to the kind of instance after the earthquake, what was the first thing you did, [00:21:05] ran into the middle of the yard and try to find my workmates. We all sort of meet up in the middle of the yard. And thank God everyone was all right. And then we stood there and swore a little bit. And then tried to think of the game plan. What are we going to do? Obviously, we want to get home but the electric gates are broken and to try to secure all the buildings and stuff. So we sort of sat there for about 10 minutes and just got our breath back and said right, I can't rule Okay, now what are you gonna do? [00:21:30] Anyone was trying to wring out but yeah, my cell reception [00:21:35] took about an hour to secure the site enough that we could all go home, gonna have to try to get home, which was a mission because my area was hit really hard in February, suddenly, about an hour and a half to get home would normally take me about 10 minutes. And the roads were just completely torn up, all lumpy and full of liquefaction and all the traffic lights were out and everything. So she really heartbreaking. Seeing people standing in the driveways, watching the liquefaction pour into their house, and not really knowing what to do. The thankfully I was up on the hill a little bit. So our house didn't have any liquefaction. But even down the bottom of our screen, it was pretty weird. [00:22:15] Can you describe for me the journey from your workplace back home? Because I'm assuming that there's a lot of people trying to move around? And I mean, were you were you driving a car? or How are you getting? Yes, driving a car. [00:22:28] And I've only got a little Nana car, so I didn't really cope that well. So I was just hoping I made it home in one piece. And when I got there, my house would still be there. [00:22:36] So going through the city streets. I mean, what did you see? [00:22:41] Pretty much just this big trail of destruction. [00:22:44] I didn't really know what to expect that there are houses that were almost completely over and roofs and chimneys and stuff. [00:22:51] fences that fall over walls have fallen down. liquefaction just pour it into people's houses and shops and stuff. [00:23:00] Lots of car crashes. [00:23:03] A lot of finances fall into Park cars. [00:23:08] And lots of people running and crying which was horrible. [00:23:13] We were running to [00:23:14] I think though most people were just trying to get home. Just wanted to get home [00:23:20] a lot of emergency sirens lots of car alarms and stuff like every time we get enough the shopping cart start shaking it's just this cacophony of car alarms pretty much fire engines and police cars and stuff. ambulances lot of people crying a lot of people swearing and you know again we already thought this stuff was over by now. [00:23:42] But everyone was still remarkably upbeat which is a bit scary actually [00:23:49] operate on what why was [00:23:52] that over? You know, we've we've had the earthquake What are we going to do? So we all sort of banded together which was really cool. [00:24:00] sort of helped each other out really good. Good. [00:24:04] So you're driving back home and you're coming to the areas that you that's your neighborhood Can you describe to me what kind of damage you're seeing [00:24:15] a lot of things as down a lot of liquefaction down the bottom of the hill [00:24:22] a lot of roof piles missing that sort of thing. Few car accidents that's pretty much it. It was pretty [00:24:32] I think the inside of people's houses with damage moving the outside and water cases. So it didn't look like a lot worse than September but it didn't look anywhere near as bad as it actually was. [00:24:43] So you got back to your place and and how did you find it? [00:24:46] It was still up right but not [00:24:49] really in a very good kind of way. [00:24:53] It had move there was a big progress right diagonally right through a property. Yeah, probably two feet wide and I couldn't see the bottom but except to see the smashed sewer pipes of course which made me really happy no toilet. [00:25:07] And that went right on to my bedroom which was freaky. [00:25:12] Want to go to bed [00:25:15] and it moved off its piles down the hill a little bit about [00:25:21] your footprint nine inches. [00:25:27] Apart from that it didn't actually look that bed. [00:25:31] Still upright. Apart from the crazy crest in the middle of the lawn. [00:25:36] We actually noticed that was off its piles, we didn't really go around the back we just sort of [00:25:41] tried to get inside the front doors wide open. [00:25:46] So first impression that wasn't actually their beard. [00:25:51] So I just sort of wandered off and then saw the missing side and that was probably wasn't any worse than the last time. [00:25:58] But the floor was pretty much a dollhouse was at a twisted completely. So none of the doors really sharp. [00:26:06] Couldn't get the bathroom door shut on the front door. Some of the piles under the middle of the lambs are gone. So you couldn't really walk across the floor that the whole thing sagging, which was pretty creepy. People wouldn't come visit us. Even when my cat walked across, you could feel it. Or if you jumped off the coffee table onto the ground, the whole house would shake. [00:26:27] So there was pretty freaky, you know, water. [00:26:34] The drain next to a house erupted. So that was some nice sewage for us. [00:26:40] Awesome. Try to keep the cats out of there. That's fun. [00:26:45] Yeah. So that was a we got hit pretty hard that time. [00:26:49] The cats I mean, did they? Did they run away and come back? Or how about having a cup with us quick [00:26:57] in a place right away. [00:26:59] When you sleep in the backyard that night, because we couldn't sleep in a house because it was just terrifying. [00:27:05] You might get came back about halfway through the night and decided to jump on the outside of the teams and scare the crap out of us. That's my kit. We're [00:27:14] Alex's kit came back in a couple of days. I think [00:27:18] we just keep going back outside and waiting. And eventually she came back. [00:27:23] So the initial thing when you drive up to the house, you look at it, you start looking inside. Did you ever think i'm not i'm just not going in here? Because it was too much? No, not really [00:27:35] should be worried about this sort of thing, but not really. But it's hard to make. So some of my prized possessions were okay. And they weren't so then I got upset. But apart from that, [00:27:46] I need to go and just check things out. Make sure the cats actually went inside when it hit because yeah, it was suck. spoke to see how bad things were. But we had some pretty nasty aftershocks pretty soon afterwards. So though you have been running outside retirement, [00:28:03] I sort of just hung around, smoked a couple of cigars because I really needed it. And I'm waiting for my flatmate Alex to get home. And being he came and looked at the house where the kids were just looked at the inside of a house in with how bad the aftershocks were that time, we thought there's no point picking anything up because the aftershocks are still at 5.8 5.9, [00:28:26] it's just it's not worth picking anything up. [00:28:29] So hopefully, they'll be happening [00:28:30] probably every 20 minutes, half an hour, it's didn't really get much sleep for a few days, pretty bad. But we just both of us really like old people with an old people to call. So you know, we saw like quite a few live down the bottom of our streets. So we just sort of went down and help them several liquefaction and stuff because just heartbreaking to seeing old people, you know, they're retiring and and they're just thinking my house is mounted and you can't really look often the cells that well, so we will not help them out. There's nothing we can do in our place. We're not we don't have liquefaction. So we might as well just do something else be productive, help some people out? [00:29:11] How would the older people coping with them? [00:29:14] I think they'll quite lost, I didn't really know what to do. Like he never prepared for anything like that. And this liquefaction was pouring into their houses and they just had these shovels. And you know, there are some of them probably like 90, and most shouldn't have to deal with that sort of stuff. Their life should be easy for them. So [00:29:35] yeah, a lot of them are just sort of standing there or doing their best, but they just didn't really know how to cope with it. [00:29:41] Once the much kind of community kind of getting together and helping other people like that. [00:29:47] Yeah, everyone was really, really good. Just quite impressed. Because some rate in my neighborhoods quite insular. We don't really talk to each other that much. But everything changed after the earthquakes, it was pretty good. [00:30:00] I sort of made friends with a few people on the street we've never met before, even though we've lived it for two years. And especially the old people just sort of checking in on them and saying you need help with anything. And that was really, really good. [00:30:15] Everyone was pretty good. Anyone who had a fire was making huge big pots of tea and cups of coffee for people. And you're also sort of sharing what they had, which was really nice. [00:30:25] At the stage, you had no power. [00:30:27] No, we didn't have power for [00:30:30] two weeks. [00:30:32] Yeah, fun. [00:30:35] That must be quite a weird mindset to be in southern because I mean, we're in quite a developed country. And we've got power and sewage and water. Yeah, I mean to have all that taken away. [00:30:47] It because we lost it for half a day. I think in September, that was bad enough. No internet for six hours. But let me just hit nothing. No, go into the toilet and bags and [00:31:00] God and trust me it was horrible. There was a water tank apart and the bottom of our straight at the primary school which was good. We had to go down and fill up a water there and stood boiler. Hand Sanitizer no one had a shell for like a week. The thankfully the west side certainly hit very hard. And most of them still have power. So a lot of us are just having family and friends over there and have a shower every couple of days. Which The time is sort of like a bucket with a flannel in the bathroom, which was really gross. [00:31:35] Disgusting. [00:31:37] But even things like boiling water. I mean, some people I guess wouldn't have the ability to even do that. Yeah, we just had a camp stove. [00:31:46] which is again impressive, because I'm not usually that growing up. But it was like cold washes because they'll the effort it takes to boil the water, you didn't want to use it for washing. We didn't get to do a laundry for a couple of weeks. Food. We didn't do too badly, we had quite a big stockpile. But our local supermarket was mounted actually probably the closest five or six supermarkets romantic. So we had to drive quite a long way to get food was like a three hour drive would only take about 20 minutes, but it's taken up to three hours to get there. Because all the roads that people would normally take rural mountain and closed off. So the ones that were open, just completely congested it would take so long to get anywhere. [00:32:29] In didn't have much choice. There wasn't really much fresh food to be had for a while. [00:32:35] We were driving way out to the west of the city just to get food and even then we were still thinking well, we can't really cook. So what are we going to do? It's mostly baked beans and noodles and stuff like that [00:32:46] must also be quite weird to be in a suburb that was hit and then to be able to drive waste away but and you're into places that were damaged [00:32:56] my brother's place 20 minute drive away. You never know there was an earthquake. He had internet order toilet so pissed off. [00:33:06] so uncool. [00:33:09] My parents a hit even worse than I was. They were right in there in the red zone. So they absolutely nothing The house is mounted. [00:33:20] So you roll off to my brother's place every couple of days and go into my artist place to do a load of washing. We're not five minute shower each because even people that did have water hit the restaurant pretty carefully. [00:33:33] That it was that the miracle of the flushing toilet. I went to my brother's place. I borrow your toilet. This is so cool. It's amazing as Even now I still appreciate having a flushing toilet. [00:33:45] You're using the word mounted quite a bit. And I'm wondering where did that come from? So a lot of people in Christchurch say that, you know, we were kind of originated from. [00:33:54] So you would I used to use a lot when I was a kid like 1213 is mounted, and also like the forward to us the insight early 90s kind of thing. But there is no other way to describe it at the moment either mounted or Bhagat it's really the only way to describe a lot of the city. [00:34:12] It's quite definitive, I think mounted. [00:34:16] It's got a real kind of full stop. Yeah. Sounds like, [00:34:21] yeah, yeah, I think Bob Parker even used it doesn't matter what it is, it's just [00:34:29] it's a bit of a mess. [00:34:31] Did you have much to do with like the emergency services or the council services with a quite rapidly giving stuff to you guys. [00:34:41] They were actually pretty good. [00:34:43] Not so much at my place. But I know with my parents, they were really, really good. Within a couple of days, they were coming around with care packages and stuff, which was really cool. [00:34:53] I think in the first pre battle week after the earthquake, we had the Red Cross come around to our place and do a little survey to we were coping Okay, mentally, and whether we had access to the things we needed. So that was pretty cool. [00:35:08] Yeah, that was about it, though. Yeah, I think the emergency services were pretty onto it. There. They traded my parents really well. [00:35:15] And do you think people were coping mentally, [00:35:18] I think people were because they didn't have a choice. I think immediately after the earthquake, people are coping a lot better than they were a couple of months. teletrac is definitely the case for me, except the time we're just in survival mode, watch list that we have just got to get it sorted. But a couple of months down the track when everything's still wanted, still getting off the socks, some people still don't have power. Just over it. By the end, in two months of not sleeping, everyone was just getting really, really pissed off. [00:35:48] I think everyone was just on the edge all the time. [00:35:52] I know a lot of people who are normally quite anxious, people became incredibly anxious, I became a bit more anxious, lot more frustrated, it just takes less time for people to get irritated. And we tend to snap at each other a little bit more. And it's still even now it's still get it does because everything, nothing's the same. [00:36:11] And there's still stuff that's just really frustrating, like looking on Google Maps. And it tells you you go through the center of town and you can't. [00:36:21] There's always stuff that we still can't do. But you're right afterwards, people just getting snapping at each other. And we were still banding together. But everyone was just really tired. And no one really felt safe or secure anymore. We just didn't know what's going to happen. Thinking all September was bad, this one was worse, what's going to happen next. So we're trying to sort it out, you know, good Kiwis to sort of get on with things. But it was pretty rough earlier. [00:36:49] For your friends that maybe were a bit anxious, was there any kind of medical help they could get? Was that was was that easily accessible? [00:36:58] Yeah, it was actually pretty good. are few people who got prescriptions for anxiety, medication, counseling, that sort of thing. [00:37:07] So I went to a bit of counseling myself. I thought I might be coping a little bit too well. There's going to be something going on. So [00:37:15] I went to counseling just sort of made sure I was doing right. [00:37:20] And do you think is that one of the signs that actually you you know, you outwardly you appear to be coping kind of piece of the next expected? Yeah, [00:37:30] me because I am prone to depression and anxiety. So I thought I should be pretty well mounted by the end as well. But I was fine. Well, [00:37:41] but you turned out she was quite quite upset. So counseling was a good thing just to make sure I was doing right. To actually accepted how I was feeling. realized that was actually okay. [00:37:53] Because the worst sort of situation there is always someone who's worse off than me. And none of my family or friends died on know people who died. And that was really sad. But it was not one I was really close to my house didn't completely fall down. Even though we had to move out so we couldn't live in it. Now was pretty lucky. So I felt sort of guilty for feeling upset about it. [00:38:16] So many people are worse off than me. Why am I feeling like crap. But everyone handles things in their own way. [00:38:24] So the house that you were in? Did you do you own it? Or were you rentals parenting? And how did that work in terms of you and the landlord? [00:38:32] I think he wanted us to stay cuz he needed the rent in all their other has other properties were completely stuffed. So he really needed the money. But it was wasn't. We couldn't just couldn't live there. We stay for probably a week after the earthquake. And he sort of grudgingly gave us a reference and see it okay can move up. Because we hadn't given the 21 days notice because why would you? [00:39:00] Yeah, he was he turned into a bit of a idiot. After we moved out, getting the bomb back and stuff. How can you even I want no one's gonna live there. But he wanted us to do garden and stuff. So it's a big crunchbase No one's going to live here. There's no toilet, there's no power, you're not going to rent it out. So why are we doing the garden? But we just want our bond. So we'll just get on with it. [00:39:25] What was it like trying to find a new place to live? [00:39:29] Thankfully, we got onto it pretty early. On, we were looking probably two or three days after the earthquake. And we slaughterhouse and sprayed in that seed mo earthquake damage. And we just ran up that day, went around that day, paid the bomb that day, and we moved in few days after that. [00:39:48] While everyone else was still panicking, no, no, no. [00:39:52] Housing is going to be the premium that's moving now. So we've gotten to a new place pretty hassle free actually was the [00:40:01] and that was the selling point, you know that there was no earthquake damage. You got a toilet, you hit [00:40:05] Yeah, we knew the spread and hadn't been hit that hard. And either of them. There was damage, like the houses, few cracks and that sort of thing. And bathroom door opens by itself, which is a bit disturbing sometimes. But it's, it's pretty good. It's a really, really old house built 1900 or something and stood up better than most than you houses [00:40:25] to things like rent increase because of the premium on the housing. [00:40:31] Yeah, I think we're paying $30 a week, more than the last tenant was, which is pretty rough. We pay quite a lot we are. But it's a nice enough house. And we're not gonna get any better for that sort of money or in Christchurch at the moment. [00:40:48] So yeah, it's a nice area. [00:40:51] It is I think the rain is quite hot at the moment, though. people paying a lot more than they normally would. But that's gonna sound crass Jewish. It's just what you gotta do. [00:41:00] What is the housing market like nowadays, you know, like for rentals, [00:41:03] there's not much out there that just try to find somewhere to live, I saw an article in the paper where some people living in their cars, because they even though they work, they just can't afford a place somewhere that's decent anyway. [00:41:18] So they're living in their cars, or they're just living at hostels and that sort of thing. It's just the rent for even a one pager in places like 200 and something a week and if working for minimum wage, you just can't do it. [00:41:30] And even now, there's only two of us living in our place, and we can barely make it and I work full time. [00:41:36] So that sucks. Not much money. And what kind of rent Are you playing at one 330 a week, or three bedroom, which is it doesn't sound that bad in the grand scheme of things. But there are only two of us. And the Alex lost his job in the earthquake. And he's just got it back in the last couple of months. What was he doing? He was managing a gay cruise club, right in the center of town on the top floor of building. So that's where he was when the earthquake hit. Lots of naked men running down the stairs. Lots of naked women from the massage parlor across the road. [00:42:15] I can leave the scared people [00:42:19] in he was actually on the front page of the paper the next day. You could see him trying to walk home as all the buildings were collapsing around him. It was a pretty epic picture. Actually. It's quite scary thinking yeah, that's my best friend right there. And all the stuff falling down behind them. [00:42:35] So yeah, he was a bit of a miss for a while, which is understandable a hitter was a lot more scary for him. Not trying to keep everybody in town, let him square and he had built the 40 run away from the police trying to make him stay there. He's like no ICF to go home. [00:42:51] So he walked away home, which is quite long way. It's about [00:42:55] an hour and a half. And I think [00:42:58] it's interesting, that kind of just primal desire to get home. [00:43:04] Make sure the friends and cats are okay. [00:43:07] Didn't the parents after that physically? [00:43:11] So do you think it's have a long term effect toilets? [00:43:17] Um, no, I don't think so. Not really. It's more just irritating now. That stuff's still not open. And we still really, you know, there's nowhere to hang out in town, that sort of thing. It's just annoying. Really, [00:43:33] but yeah, we're okay, let's just sucked for a while after the earthquake because he lost his job. And I still have mine. My job sucked because I was picking up stuff after the earthquake was horrible at picking up money box, the tissues and stuff. But then he had the added pressure of money and trying to find some of the love when you don't have a job. And trying to find a bond and that sort of thing. And luckily, both of us had some savings, so we could afford to just move back. Money was a big factor for both of us for a while. [00:44:04] But we both got grants from the Red Cross. So that was pretty cool. [00:44:08] $500 each to help pay the bond and rent in advance and do that sort of thing. [00:44:16] So Alex was working it was it a kind of cruise club, sauna type thing? Yeah. Did the earthquake knock out a lot of kind of gay and lesbian venues? Pretty much all and [00:44:29] actually, all of them are one town. So every single one was gone. [00:44:37] So what do people do? [00:44:39] For a while we didn't really do anything. Just focused on being okay. Making sure we had someone to live work sort of thing. But a few months down the track. Why now what do we do? There's nowhere to go and don't really bother me because I don't go anywhere anyway. [00:44:56] But you cruise was closed me in France was closed. Running was shut down. So I think there have been a few if I remember correctly, which is unlikely. There have been some dance parties and that sort of thing. We have been be the sort of Big Gay parties. I think a couple of cruise clubs opened a bit more bit further out a couple around and Walston and Alex, this one's just opened up and Walston as well. [00:45:27] People need the casual six after earthquakes obviously. [00:45:32] It was being pretty rough. This Christchurch is quite a scene has been pretty. [00:45:38] People don't really try very hard. Don't put a lot of effort into the queer scene. So it was kind of floundering. Anyway, I think you see it for the cruise, which is the most popular. [00:45:49] So you have to look like it just pretty much went completely underground for quite a while. That Cruise is open now to people hanging out there and starting to do things around the ages again back doing all the sort of groups that we used to do like the tramping group and cycling and that sort of thing. So that's cool. How [00:46:07] do you think the earthquakes have affected the queer community down here? [00:46:12] I'd like to say that it banded us together, but I don't think it really did. I think we're pretty much the same as we were before. [00:46:22] In some ways, this board is closer, because everybody knows everyone else, because it's Christ Church. [00:46:28] We all know someone who died pretty much and it's quite, it's a bit of a reality check. Really? [00:46:37] Yeah, I think everything's [00:46:41] I think people may be not quite as into going out as much as they used to be. Because really, there is only cruise. It's open now. And we all got used to if we wanted to hang out with other queer people, we had to go to people's houses, have barbecues, that sort of thing. And we tend to still do that quite a bit. rather than sort of just get into cruise because it's what everyone always does. So I think that's quite good, because I'm a bit of a Nana and I don't really like clubs and late nights and drinking and stuff. So. So hanging out more casual is something that I enjoy. So that's good for me. [00:47:12] It's quite interesting, even just around the Syria where we're staying. I've really noticed that the people around here have done really hard, you know, but they look like have had a really miserable time. [00:47:25] I think immediately after the earthquake, the sale of alcohol, we end up quite a lot. Because what are people going to do get drunk. [00:47:34] But now, we're just tired. Even now, it's still [00:47:39] Well, I'm so tired. Is it still affects us all the time. We still hear about on the news just about every day something with the EQ see you knocking down this building. They're doing that building rates on people arguing about the government offer and you can't get away from it. [00:47:57] Right, pretty much. I didn't read the paper or listen to the news. I would never know that being an earthquake because I live in an area that's not really damaged. And my work is not damaged because got a new job. [00:48:08] But you We always hear about it. And personally I'm quite sick of hearing about it. It doesn't. I kind of feel selfish because it doesn't really fit me personally. So I really don't care anymore. I'm just over it. [00:48:20] Yeah, my thought I have to be a bit involved because my parents building a new house and they got bought out and helping them move from the land of destruction over in the East was pretty. That was rough. It's just like a ghost town over there. Now there's no one living there. [00:48:35] It's interesting. I will not I mean, even around the Syria, you know, walking down the streets. It's peppered with houses that are just completely overgrown. I've just been kind of lifted my spine. Yeah. [00:48:45] Yeah, my parents areas like that. I drove through it last weekend just to see it. It was like and they moved up a few weeks ago. [00:48:53] There's no one living on the street anymore. That grasses little overgrown and stuff. It's really sad because people yesterday take privately houses over the especially in God, everything was a little street full of old people. The gardens were all perfect. And everything's just all overgrown. It's really depressing. There's still big mountains and liquefaction everywhere. It's horrible. [00:49:13] So what's your real name there in new Brighton. So they hit pretty hard. [00:49:19] I'm in the house looks like it's fine. But the land is mounted or concrete pair the house is on, I think. And my dad was saying it's a shame to have to move out. Because you know, 95% of the world's population will be happy to have a house like this. Like on the inside, you couldn't really tell. But he did some measurements outside and dropped about 20 centimeters down one side. So it was obviously I couldn't fix it. But it's a shame to move out. Because really it looked like there wasn't much wrong with it [00:49:48] is quite depressing, especially if my mom she found it quite hard because they bought their house to retire into. And they put a lot of work and money into getting it the way they would like it. And now they have to build again. [00:50:00] 16 is don't want to, but what choice they have, [00:50:04] was it a hard decision for them to like accept the government offers or not? [00:50:11] Well, wasn't really going to get any better. They couldn't stay where they were basically, nine months to move out in the price of land was just going to go up. So they thought well just get in just buy the land and get the ball rolling before other people start building their houses and just do it. [00:50:28] I'm guessing that if you don't get on early with this kind of stuff, the white time for actually even some some kind of building? I mean, it would just be a [00:50:37] Yeah, I know some people are still [00:50:42] haven't accepted the government offer they have but they haven't cited where they're going to build it. Because maybe something better will come up. But maybe I won't. I think they should get onto it. But then again, it's not me having to make that decision. So it's easy for me to say [00:50:58] what do you think of the media coming? The kind of national media coverage of quakes? [00:51:05] I get sick of people feeling sorry for us. That's really irritating. [00:51:10] At first it was nice, because really alive sucked pretty much for a while. [00:51:16] Now I'm just a little people don't really feel sorry for us anymore. But it's all really political, which I don't really, it's not really the point. point is to get crushed it back up and running, not what the mayor said versus this guy, etc lyst everyone blame the EQ see me. [00:51:32] I don't know how much we can honestly expect from them. And they've never had to deal with this before either. So he wants to sort of doing this for the first time. [00:51:40] But he has always seemed to be some sort of complaining going on about something and did knocking down this building. And the engineers don't want to because of this and I over it. [00:51:48] So like in terms of heritage buildings in Christchurch, do you have any thoughts about whether they should be trying to keep talking? [00:51:58] I think it's really sad. I get quite upset because I really like history and that sort of thing. So I get I get upset when they have to knock on over. But at the same time, the rational part of me says well, but some safe, we're not going to be able to enjoy it anyway. [00:52:14] So they have to go they have to go and stuff like that does happen all the time, everywhere. So it's not just us, you know, Christ just isn't just the special places, losing walls, heritage buildings, it does happen all the time. And that's how I sort of try to rationalize it. But it does upset me when I drive through town. And I don't see half the bills that have been there for my whole life. And that's quite rough. [00:52:37] So kind of overall, how do you think the earthquakes and the last year has affected you? How's it changed you? [00:52:47] I think there's sort of an underlying fatigue and the general [00:52:51] I'm just really, really sick of it. Like I'm still, I think quite positive person. But I'm also really, really realistic now more than I used to be about like my own personal limitations. Especially, like if I can't cope with something, I'm pretty realistic about it. [00:53:09] I take pretty much every opportunity I can get to get some peace and quiet these days. [00:53:14] means a lot more to me than it used to. I always used to like a lot of quiet time. But now I just absolutely crave it. Just time where there are no earthquakes. No one's talking at me. I seem to need that a lot more than I used to. And it's also changed my perspective on a lot of things. For me personally like my transition. [00:53:34] The September one hit two months after I started hormone therapy. Really, it puts things in perspective, because two months into my transition, I was complaining on YouTube about how I don't have a beard. Oh my God, I've got one chin here. And then really you have a 7.1 earthquake and then a 6.3. And I think really my chin here does not matter. It all. So become a bit more reasonable and less selfish about that sort of thing, which is a bonus. [00:54:01] Because I did tend to obsess about it quite a lot, which I think is quite normal people transitioning but it's really put things in perspective in a good kind of way.

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