21 Jan 2005
It’s a bit late to broach the subject of the December 26 tsunami disaster, but I’m going to forge recklessly ahead anyway.
Soon after the tsunamis hit, photographs began circulating the internet, supposedly showing the waves hit the shores of the regions that were devastated. I remember getting one of those e-mails and thinking, “yeah, that’s a big wave all right. How terrible.” And that was it. I didn’t question the authenticity of the photos.
The embarrassing thing is that the photos were taken in Hangzhou, of a yearly spectacle on the Qiantang River called a tidal bore. I’ve watched the tidal bore from the exact same location featured in some of the pictures, and I didn’t even recognize it! (The year I went, the waves were not nearly as big, though.)