October 06, 2007

Typhoon Krosa

It started getting breezy around here two days ago and by yesterday morning the wind whipping by my classroom had taken to howling and interrupting class every few minutes for the students to gawk out the window at the trees across the road as they danced like sea anenomes, tenuously rooted to the ground below, but willing to pick up and go if a better offer could be produced.

I swear kids these days and their short attention spans. All I said was HOLY CHRIST LOOK AT THAT TREE and half the class had bolted to the windows on the west side of our third floor classroom to take a look. I never used to look out the windows at typhoons when I was in eighth grade.

Cruising to job #2 last night Wenshin Rd was littered with scales from palm trees and cars slowed to a crawl so that an inventory could be taken. Every third driver was an accounting major at one point in their life and all that work on the abacus has trained them to count fallen leaves faster than Rain Man.

The rain held off until I got home but the wind pushed me and my bike all over the road. Again, I discovered that the faster I was moving forward the less I was pushed side to side. I don't recommend this and in the end I chalked it up to being rather lucky.

This morning. Rain again. Not a lot of it, but when the wind is blasting at 115mph the sheets of white obscure the shops on the other side of the street. Without the gusts, water is coming down at a 30 degree angle. Maggie says the park behind our place has lost a few trees. On the ride in this morning, I see that a few residences have lost their trashcans and the leaves that tile the streets in dark and light green are joined by translucent pink plastic trashbags and chunks of styrofoam that had come with small appliances.

Saturday afternoon and evening we had Hollywood FX weather coming from all directions. This was the first time that I've ever noticed the rain falling up. As the wind roared up the street and up the side of my building, turned raindrops the size of popcorn inside out and carried them up three or four stories to my level and beyond. Whatever trick of the light there may have been, drops headed in one direction appeared grey, while the ones coming up at me shone white.

Fortunately, none of the illegal structures in my neighborhood were removed entirely from the legal structures to which they are moored in pleasant weather. Some of the plexiglass roofs were, however, torn to shreds and the air was thick at times with pieces of plastic the size of my jazz hands. I remain stunned by the number of scooters one sees on the street on a day such as this.

A bit of rain blew in through the kitchen door and required some mopping up, but this was not overly burdensome as sweeping and mopping is part of the Saturday afternoon routine at our place. I ran downstairs for about three beers while I waited for the courtyard fountain to come back on so I could see what would happen if you photographed it with the wind gusting through the courtyard at a hundred miles an hour.

While doing so I nearly got to see the effect of a 3x6 piece of industrial roofing on...ok, not on me, but on the fish in the pond I was standing next to.

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