For the previous post in this series, please click here.
It was time. Time to shut the windows. Time to huddle inside. Time to stock up on foodstuffs. Most of all, it was time to stock up on wine ‘cause this was going to be a doosey. You guys, my first taste of a typhoon was coming, and if the storm that completely soaked me the night before was any indication, rain would be a’ falling and wind would be a’ whistling.
Why was this exciting? Well, because what is a typhoon, anyways? I had certainly never experienced one before. Also, how is it different from a hurricane? Let’s research.
Okay. Apparently a typhoon rotates counterclockwise, but hurricanes can rotate both clockwise and counterclockwise. Oh, and typhoons originate in the Pacific and hurricanes originate in the Atlantic.
So what I’m gathering is, there’s really no freaking tangible difference that anyone other than Bill Nye, the Science Guy will ever care about (can I get a heck yeah for anyone who watched him in science class when the teacher didn’t feel like teaching? Tell me I didn’t waste the reference). Moving on…
Luckily, the Wellcome market was just a few steps away from my flat. Apart from the misspelling I never tired of giggling at, I resolved to give them my patronage as they had the staples: dumplings, Haagen Dasz macadamia nut ice cream, dried mango, and cheap merlot.
I was prepared. So prepared, man.
I was also excited to stay in and listen to the rain. For some reason I’ve always loved sitting at home and catching up on my favorite TV shows when it rains. It makes me feel like the complete lack of productivity is justified. Hey, I can’t go anywhere anyways!
Additionally, we never ever got snow days where I grew up. So, this surprise day off was pretty stellar.
When the typhoon finally came I anxiously turned on the TV and went straight to the English-speaking channels. Yes, I was studying Chinese, but the subtitles on TV were all in Mandarin Characters, so I rationalized that I was allowed to watch English-speaking TV as long as I read along as well (in ethics we call this justification. In other words, I knew this rationalization was BS. Thanks, college).
Want to know what I watched? Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Prime. What? Never heard of Prime? Yeah, neither had I. Ever. I enjoyed this with a marathon of The Amazing Race from three seasons ago woven in. I felt like we got the Salvation Army treatment with the TV offerings; we just got the weird and/or super old stuff nobody really wants anymore. Either it must have below a 2-star rating or be extremely old to get passed along to Taiwanese English-speaking programs. This is my theory.
Regardless, I hung on every word. Watched every moment, and did so with gusto since this was the only thing on TV I could really understand. Sure, Uma Thurman, I buy that you want to try dating a 23 year old guy, I buy that he coincidentally is your shrink’s son, but I don’t buy that your first name would be Rafi. That’s an odd first name, even for a fake movie person.
Now I’m rambling.
For most of the day rain came pelting down. I heard branches falling, peeked out the window from time to time and saw the alleyways littered with dongxi (translation: stuff), and finished off the wine and ice cream within the first three hours with my roommate. When the eye of the storm came through and things finally calmed down, we decided to venture out in hopes of procuring more food.
Luckily, a small restaurant down the alley way was open, much to my surprise and delight. We quickly ate, had some drinks, and headed back to the abode, inviting some friends we met at the restaurant to come weather the storm with us.
The next day we awoke to dislodged light-up storefront signs, heard tails of flooding in Bei Tou (north of Taipei), and pushed branches aside with our feet as we walked. All in all, it wasn’t too bad considering it was one of the larger typhoons to hit Taipei in recent history.
I survived. It was fun. Bring on the ice cream and merlot any time.
Self realization: You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today.
Have some realizations of your 0wn? Tell me on Twitter and connect with me on Facebook!