Yesterday morning I was having breakfast in the 37th fl0or club lounge at the InterContinental Bangkok, quite enjoying my conversation with Julia, the lovely Bavarian lady that staffs the club lounge. Suddenly I felt really dizzy. I didn’t drink anything the night before and got a great night of sleep, so I found that a bit strange. But it continued. After a few moments I realized what was going on — I wasn’t dizzy, but it was an earthquake. My reaction was something like this:
Disclosure time: I’ve never experienced an earthquake. And I’m mildly terrified of them. Actually, it’s a reason I was considering not moving to Seattle. For a little over 20 seconds the club floor was shaking. Like, seriously shaking.
Julia (the club attendant) tried to remain calm and directed us towards the stairs. Now, to get to the stairs you walk past the rooftop pool, and I saw water rushing out of it, which terrified me even more. I skipped down the 37 flights of stairs as if I was participating in the Olympics. I found it odd that nobody else was evacuating, and eventually made it to the ground floor. Again, I’ve never been in an earthquake before, so I had no sense of how these work. I was kind of expecting chaos on the streets, a thousand people in the lobby, and a general Armageddon style setting.
Sure enough I bust through the doors on the first floor and go straight to the concierge desk, thinking she’ll know what’s going on.
Me: “Excuse me, was there just an earthquake?”
Her (confused look): “I’m sorry, you want restaurant recommendation?”
Me: “No, was there just an earthquake? You know, earth shake brrrrrrr [yes, that’s what I picture an earthquake sounding like]?”
Her: “One moment,” as she calls over someone else.
Other guy: “What can I help you with?”
Me: “Was there just an earthquake?”
Other guy: “You want to go to park?”
Grrr! It’s funny cause I’ve never had such a hopeless feeling before, where I was convinced the world was coming to an end, while everyone looked at me as if nothing happened.
Well, as it turned out, nothing did happen for them. Apparently there was an earthquake in Myanmar, and it was only felt at the top of some of the taller buildings in Bangkok.
Julia kept the club lounge closed for a bit as a safety precaution, while I was happy just to be on the ground level.
Has anyone else experienced an earthquake in a hotel before? Certainly an interesting learning experience for me, and makes me wonder about staying at 100+ story hotels like the Park Hyatt Shanghai and Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong…