Of course I have this awesome news today, right? I mentioned a few weeks ago in an e-mail to Mynx at Dribble... that I wanted to do a silly post about translating Australian slang into “American”, and it’s posted today over there. I’m really happy how it turned out, and I want to thank Mynx for hosting it. Give it a looksee if you want a laugh today.
picture courtesy of Mynx’s blog
I, for one, do not want a laugh today. I am worried sick. A couple of days ago my husband mentioned that there is a cyclone (hurricane for all you Northern Hemispherers) headed towards the coast. Okay, I hope my Townsville friends are safe, I’m thinking-my husband is about two hours inland. Last night he tells me that Cyclone Yasi is meant to be pretty big and will stretch into his neck of the woods come 7am my time Wednesday. What does that mean? I ask him. He tells me it means people are stocking up on long-life milk and water at his grocery store just to be safe and it will probably be windy and rainy.
This afternoon J calls me and says, “I have some news I should probably tell you sooner rather than later. The cyclone is now a category 5 and is going to be the largest cyclone on record. We’ve battened down the house and I should be getting a call from work calling me off tonight-they’re thinking of closing at 6pm tonight”. At first I’m cool, I’m just asking about the storm (Townsville and Cairns, two major coastal cities, are supposed to be hit the hardest-and they have closed the airports and shut off the power to my knowledge), and I jokingly say something about the roof coming off like in “The Wizard of Oz”. He tells me, in all seriousness, “well if that does happen we’ll just have to bunker in the bathroom”.
You know, it’s one thing to be away from the person you love the most for an extended period of time and the “what-if’s” that could happen: car crash, health woes, work injuries, etc…but this cyclone is headed towards him. And there’s nothing I can do.
Granted, I’m not Superman-it’s not like if I was there with him I could stop the cyclone somehow. But I would be with him. If shit went down I would be there going down with it. I’m so stupid, you would think I would be relieved that I’m NOT there anymore, but I’m not. I feel guilty and awful. If something happens I will never forgive myself for leaving him to be in America.
Cue more tears.
Right now I’m just planning on keeping in contact with him via webcam and MSN Messenger-but eventually the power will probably go out and that terrifies me. I have to sit and wait for him to contact me. I’m not good with patience.
To try and put this in perspective, I’ll give you some of the info I have read today:
*The cyclone is roughly the size of Hurricane Katrina, which battered the Gulf Coast of the United States and wreaked havoc in the city of New Orleans in 2005. Yasi is almost 300 miles wide and could affect an area larger than 400 miles across and up to 600 miles inland from the Queensland coast.
*Satellite images showed Yasi as a massive storm system covering an area bigger than Italy or New Zealand, with the cyclone predicted to be the strongest ever to hit Australia.
*The storm will be making landfall sometime by Wednesday, Feb. 2, and bring with it winds of 175 miles per hour and deadly flash flooding. The area that could be affected by the storm is roughly the size of England, Scotland and Wales combined. The storm was recently upgraded to a Category Four (5 on the Australian scale) storm and is so large that the it could take more than an hour for the eye of the storm to pass overhead.
J lives in Charters Towers, so he won’t be bearing the full brunt of the cyclone’s power.
Queensland (the state the cyclone is landing in) just had those devastating floods in the Southern region, and now this. This area is also in the tropics, which is a boon for banana and sugar cane crops-and they’re expected to be wiped out at least a little bit.
And I’m angry. I’m angry that as Americans we are so bubbled in that “world news” is only limited to what affects us as a nation. I have been watching the major news networks for three hours now only to have seen a five-minute feature on CNN’s World News Tonight. Heck, this may be the first time some of my readers have even heard about this cyclone, and why shouldn’t it be? It doesn’t affect you, or our families. But it affect me. So I’m freaking out. I’m scared. I am thinking of all of my North Queensland family and friends right now.
Here are some links if you guys are interested: