I was looking forward to discussing a new airport project, but having tacos again was also a mouth-watering prospect.

The next day our meeting was interrupted by a safety drill that coincided with the 30th anniversary of a major earthquake disaster. As I was born in Taiwan and have since moved to Canada, I wasn’t as scared as I might have been without the experience of earthquakes in both countries.

At lunchtime, we had just sat down to have my favourite tacos, al pastor, when the restaurant started to shake. Even though my colleagues had already run out of the building, I paused for a moment.

I thought, “Am I in serious danger?” And the answer was more of a “no” than a “yes”. I was also thinking about the tacos and felt that the risk-reward ratio of rescuing them was not going to have an impact on my chances of survival.

When I made it outside, glass was shattering everywhere, but thankfully we were OK. It was the most visually striking earthquake I’d ever seen because the whole city – and especially the roads – looked like waves! It felt like we were surfing.

I was comforted by my al pastor! It was then I realised that my colleagues were making fun of me. They took a picture that got sent around North America. And people still say, “Hey, haven’t I seen you somewhere before…?”

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