The Hostel is a family house built on two floors. On the ground floor live the owners: an older woman, her daughter, and their cat.
The daughter speaks some English and is the one who welcomes us for breakfast and dinner. She translates to her mother and explains where we are from, how I am travelling alone with two young daughters, my work, and the Philippines where we currently live.
We stayed on the first floor. We have a family room: a sliding door, the floor of tatamis and futons rolled up next to the wall.
One afternoon we were resting lying on the tatami. We feel a tremor, and I have the unmistakable sense of a wave passing underneath the floor. It starts on one end of the room. I feel it passing under my back, almost lifting me, and then vanishes at the other side of the room.
We stand up and quickly go down. The mother read her daughter sit in the shown in the tiny yard behind the house. They are relaxed. I asked the daughter if we had just had an earthquake. She sill: “yes, a small one. Don’t worry; we have them every day.”‘
I look around the yard; there are bamboo baskets put to dry. Everything is quiet.