This is the second half of the letter from my friend Kirsten from Denmark:
I heard some strange water sounds and turned around and saw the water flooding, coming against us taking trees, cars, people with it and rising very quickly. Shock came up in me and a question: What is that? Nobody told me about such things could happen here. So I shouted, “What the hell is that?” No answer! My next thought, “What can we do in case the building floods or breaks and when will the water stop?” Hundreds of questions rushed through, but there was nothing to do, just stay. Wait and help the coming people. The surviving people. And receive the dying people and cry and shake together.
Pray to God and find the inner peace. No panic! A lot of the locals panicked but I knew I could only lose my personal suitcase stuff and then go home again. Well, that thought would come later. First to save my life.
Find and stay in the center of the wave and find peace. I was in shock, shaking, but I never panicked. The water stopped as tall as me on the first floor and the house stayed stable. I waited until the water became low again to go down to the ground floor with the German in my hand to help me.
We could only guess what the hell was going on. No electricity and gossip started about a new, even taller wave will come and warnings to escape to the mountains. Was this a world wide catastrophe or what? My mind was asking, asking. Very busy mind. Keep me alive. How could I escape? My body became so weak, but my mind was very strong, listening very carefully to myself. I didn’t really trust all the people who panicked and their voices about more waves.
I suffered by all the victims who were looking for their beloved and I had to keep my own mind strong about my friends who lived on the beach. I hooked up with 3 tall strong American surfers and we went to a safe house. In the evening I got the message: my friends were alive and would sleep in the mountains this night.
I could not sleep. We were the only people back in the village and I was sharp listening to the sound of the ocean, the tide, etc. I never slept until I came back to Denmark, 4 days later. It took 3 days to get rescued. We had plenty of food including drinking water but no washing water, no electricity. It was a 9 hours drive through the jungle. The first two hours were like a war-zone. Damaged, endless shock. Dead people. People in the streets, standing in line for food or news.
Arriving in the airport in the middle of the night, chaos. I could not handle anymore now. I could get no help no emergency place to sleep, except the floor with a traumatized 10 year old Anders. He had survived by hanging in a tree during the first wave. The second wave he had lost the power to hang on and Lisbeth pulled him back by his long black hair.
At the airport, I could not control myself anymore, and so Anders and I went ‘creative dreaming’ around—dirty, smelling, ugly looking. And suddenly my brain started working again. Italian Embassy people stood there in front of me and I started talking with them and got the message: EVERYBODY could go NOW to Rome for free. 2 seconds after, Anders and I signed up time would show us to get from Rome to Denmark. We also got a shower each for $2.00 and went clean on the plane. But Anders was not easy for me (shock reactions on the plane.) His mum stayed in Sri Lanka.
I was going home to my ‘exclusive’ and ‘organized’ life in Denmark.