May 30, 2010


Another rainy day in paradise…

Well, maybe not paradise, but Taiwan. Fortunately today, for most of my traveling around the city, it wasn’t raining. I have nothing against rain. In fact, I love it. It tends to cool things down (sometimes). It waters my plants. It cleans the streets and buildings. But two days of rain is quite annoying.

The same could be said of the 30 or 40 days of NO RAIN. Sunshine. 38C temperature. Nice puffy clouds in the sky. Sounds like paradise. But just how much can a person take.

If I was on holidays at some island resort, no rain is ideal. You want the nice weather. Who wants to spend thousands on a holiday to a tropical resort, only to have it rain for 2 or 3 days!

Taiwan, just in case many of you don’t realize, is in the tropic zone. In fact, the Tropic of Cancer, the imaginary line on the planet 23.27 degrees north of the equator, run through Taiwan, just south of Chia-yi, and north of Tainan. This is where the sun tends to stop moving northward in the summer. This the point where the northern hemisphere gets the most daylight hours and least amount of nighttime hours during the year. There is actually a monument of sorts that spans the roadway on the way to Chia-yi.

We go through stretches of no rain. The sky may look black in the distance, we may hear the rumblings, but not a drop falls. There have been numerous times, which I think is kind of interesting, where you can travel from one end of the city to the other. During that journey, there is sunshine in one area, and pouring rain in another. At times it seems kind of funny. You will be driving along hotter than hell, and see someone in a raincoat. Look into the direction where they came from, and understand why.

And then, there are the rainy periods. The rainy season. The typhoon season. During these times, the rain never seems to stop. It buggers up all the drainage systems, water filtration systems, and water supply to the cities. Tainan, over the past few years, has been trying to work on this problem. I guess they just can’t seem to think further ahead than to the day at hand.

A few years ago, the rains were so heavy that the water filtrations systems were getting clogged up with debris and mud. They shut down the water supply to the city so that they could install larger supply lines. A couple of years later, the same thing. These new supply lines were simply to small to handle the volume.

Something similar happened last year. However, in my part of town, not only did we not have water, we didn’t have electricity for about a week! Talk about being cut off from the world. No water, therefore, no showers. No electricity, no TV, no fridge, no pump to pump the water in the holding tanks… I was ordering bottled water almost every week. Having sponge baths in my sink. Not a pretty site.

This year, so far, the rain lasted for about 2 days. Everything seems wet or damp all the time. I keep the air conditioner running, not really so much to cool off, but to keep the moisture out of the air. As we all know, humidity can do a number on our electronics, printers, and even our bodies. I really notice it with my hand. Since the accident and now that the swelling has gone down considerably, almost back to normal, the humidity in the air makes my hand sore. Once the air conditioner runs for a bit, it seems better.

Hopefully the rain will stop for just a little while. The other thing about raining, is doing laundry. Because I don’t have a dryer, and really, why bother in Taiwan, I hang my clothes out to dry. It’s not really the same as hanging clothes out in Canada. I remember when mom would do that, and the clothes would have a fresh air smell, you know. Here, no ‘fresh air smell’… just dry.

Even though where I hang the laundry is covered over, once the rain begins, the air is saturated with moisture. It takes a lot longer for the clothes to dry. They end up hanging outside for 2 or 3 days. Doesn’t really matter though, I guess. The laundry is hanging on the balcony on the 4th floor. As long as the wind doesn’t get too strong, a couple days ain’t gonna hurt anyone.

Tomorrow’s another day.

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