Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This morning Kowloon disappeared in the clouds and rain!
Rain has been the story here for the past 24 hours and everyone has a wet weather story to tell.

Yesterday around 6.45pm the rain started pouring down and while I was safely ensconced in a large bus travelling from work to Sheung Wan, I would have to get out into the dreaded downpour and walk to a restaurant in between Central and Sheung Wan.

Just running from the bus to shelter a few steps away and my shoes were already filled with water. Only later did I realize the Red Rainstorm warning was up.

I then got into the Sheung Wan MTR station and tried to avoid more water by using the underground passageway to get to Queen's Road Central. But then there was no more cover -- and it made me realize how unfriendly some buildings are in Hong Kong in not offering some kind of shelter or efficient passageway when there are terrible weather conditions.

I didn't have a large umbrella either, but I was already better off than some people (ie men) who were completely soaked or had to wait a long time for the rain to pass.

Eventually I made it to the restaurant but not without looking like a drowned rat. I even had to take my shoes off and empty them of water. When I sat down, I had to ask for an extra dinner napkin to dry off a bit and also cover my legs from getting cold.

Meanwhile my dining companion was stuck in Causeway Bay and decided to take a bus but it stopped in Wan Chai without moving for 10 minutes and then she texted me, "Prison break!" and ran for the MTR.

In weather conditions like these, you just have to brave the crowds and head underground because you're pretty much guaranteed you'll get somewhere relatively fast.

She eventually showed up 45 minutes late, but in one piece.

We had a fun time, but then I had to wear my cold, soaked shoes back home. To save them I stuffed them with newspaper and wrapped them in the newsprint too to soak up the moisture it had accumulated. The shoes were still a bit damp this morning and I changed the newspaper in the shoes...

Today I was smart and wore a pair of fake Crocs and brought a pair of shoes to change into. However, I did get pretty wet despite having a large umbrella too, again because of Red Rainstorm warning.

The rain was relentless all afternoon and only later in the evening was the Amber Rainstorm warning lowered and thunderstorm warning at 10.30pm.

We've been having strange weather these days considering Hong Kong hasn't been directly affected by a typhoon yet this year. The Hong Kong Observatory is forecasting heavy showers and thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow morning, it seems clear now, but things can change within minutes.

We appreciate the smart phone app the observatory has developed, texting us with the latest weather warnings we need to know about, but they seem like only bits of information and not the overall picture of what the rest of the day may look like.

Or perhaps the meteorologists don't even know?

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