It was just after 11 PM and we were both dog tired, but of course we had to discuss everything that we hadn't found the time to discuss yet. Our topic for this evening was the earthquake in China.
We had listened to a program on NPR about it earlier in the day when we went to pick Tiffany up. My favorite part was when they interviewed a native Chinese volunteer, asking her what kind of volunteer work she wanted to do. Her response was something like this,
"We want to go to the place...where it happened...the earth...the earthquake. And we want to help. We want to help the people. We want to save the people there. We want help the best we can save help the people."
That's exactly how I sound when I speak foreign languages!
Anyway, we were brushing our teeth last night and Andrew was showing me the region the earthquake hit on our shower curtain. That is evidence that we are nerds right there: that our shower curtain is a map of the world. He drew his finger lazily around the bulk of China, a bright green blob with cities happily dotting its breadth, probably misplaced, but it's only a shower curtain, so that's okay.
"Honey, that's like half of China..." I pointed out.
"Well, it was a big earthquake," he said.
We talked about the region it hit, then about Myanmar, since it's right below China. We talked about the differences in the governments and the aid that is being given. We warned Mongolia--if the northward trend of natural disasters continues, Mongolia is next.
And then we finished brushing our teeth. Just before we got into bed we both had questions pop into our heads. Questions so important that they could not be ignored.
"Are panda bears violent?" I asked, "I always picture them as big, fluffy, lazy, friendly guys chewing on bamboo...but they do have big claws..."
"What's the Arabic word for earthquake?" Andrew wondered aloud, "I know it's almost onomatopoeic...but I just can't think of it what it is..."
We looked at each other, then our big comfortable bed, and then at each other again. Almost on cue we both headed back into the living room.
Andrew pulled the Arabic-English dictionary off the shelf, while I flipped open the laptop.
"الزلزال! Al-zilzal!" said Andrew, "I knew that!"
I found an article on CNN describing a panda bear attack, "Yeah, they're just like any other bear, only they eat sticks instead of meat."
Only then were we able to fall asleep, our minds at ease, knowing that panda bears attack when provoked and that thousands of people died in China because of a zilzal. Now we know.