Monday, July 6, 2009

Taxi Tales: I slept through the great Yogyakarta earthquake

Taxi Tales is a new series dedicated to the insightful anecdotes, witty repartee and occasional pearls of wisdom that emerge from my regular conversations with taxi drivers around the region.

At 5.54 am on Saturday 27 May 2006, a powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, killing nearly 6,000 people and damaging more than 100,000 homes.

But one man was totally unaware of the destruction that was being wrought on his home town. Andi, a driver working in the tourism industry, had been out partying with his friends and drinking heavily the night before.

"I only got home at about 5am and I was so drunk that I went straight to sleep," he told me as he drove me and some friends out to the ancient Buddhist temple at Borobodur. "I didn't feel the tremors and when I woke up, I wondered what had happened."

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