Thursday, June 23, 2011

Typhoons and Tantrums

Well, typhoon season is upon us. Of course I had plans for this week and ended up having to go into town during torrential rain and winds of 40-60km/hour. The "Typhoon Signal 3" was hoisted which basically meant that it was really wet and really windy. When I arrived into Central on the ferry yesterday the rain was coming down in sheets and the wind was blowing it sideways. My umbrella was rendered useless as soon as I stepped out of the shelter provided by the ferry, and I was soaked through by the time I got into a cab less than 10 metres away. A "T8" is generally a bit more serious and everything shuts down, but during the T3 it was business as usual - it just made getting a taxi a bit more challenging than usual. Not to mention the challenge of finding "indoor fun" for a very "outdoor" kind of boy, as playgroups, kindergartens and nursery schools close down at T3.

Call me crazy, but I actually love this kind of weather. It's still hot, and the 99.9% humidity makes going outside feel like you're stepping into a sauna, but the rain does cool things down just so slightly. I also love the unpredictability of it all, and the fact that we all get a day off if it's really windy. It's also a great reminder that we're a long way from home. I love the jostling of umbrellas on busy streets, the gumboots under work suits, the clarity of the sky before the rain sweeps in and obscures everything. I love lying in bed and listening to the wind howl and the rain pelting the window, and knowing I'm tucked up safe, sound and dry. I have a deep respect for the awesome power of nature, and I know that freak weather can be so incredibly dangerous, but for us, in this city that's so well prepared for the annual typhoons, it's simply a fascinating part of life in the tropics. Oddly enough, it's one of the few things I love about this place.

When I was teaching, we could always tell when there was a typhoon on the way, because the kids would get a little bit nutty. There'd be a bit more noise in the hallways, a few more fights, lots of general silliness, and they'd all be buzzing almost perceptibly as we waited to hear whether or not we'd all get to go home early. J wasn't bothered by this recent bout of inclement weather at all. He still insisted on going out for his morning walk yesterday, and he protested quite loudly when we had to turn around and come home after we both got drenched by a passing storm. He reminded us all day today that we hadn't yet been to Mui Wo for playgroup, and didn't understand the concept of "cancelled due to weather"... We have had more tantrums than usual this week, and I'm hoping that I can blame the weather and not a new phase. Last night he insisted on feeding himself dinner, which meant eating shepherd's pie with his hands. Battles like those held regularly at our dinner table make yesterday's typhoon seem like nothing more than a stiff breeze in comparison.

Here are some photos from previous year's storms...

If you're a bit of a weather nerd like me check out the Hong Kong Observatory's great typhoon information page.

1 comment:

  1. i found your blog while trying to find the playtown candyland link on my phone. i can't wait to come back and read i will take the wee ones to play!

    (btw, i am an america who is new to hong with the hubs and our two small kids...trying to survive one day at a time.)