Thursday, July 22, 2010

Typhoon Chanthu

Click the pix for larger picture.
Tropical Storm Chanthu became Typhoon Chanthu and is just now slamming us. It was raining and getting breezy this morning when I went to teach. The warnings were there for all to see, a big old circular thingie on the the radar map coming right this way.
By the end of the second class, it was raining pretty well and the wind was picking up. It seemed like a good idea to me to cancel the second class but the boss wanted to soldier on. Hey, it's China, Long March and all!
By the end of the second class, the wind was howling and it was raining sideways. Well, at least it's not cold! My assistant is a student from the Guangdong Ocean University. The campus is a one hour public bus ride outside of town. I offered to let her come stay with us, but she said she would try to make it back to campus.
I tightened the strap on my hat to maximum pain setting, and ducked out into the fun. I could try to catch a cab, or the bus.
There wasn't a lot of traffic, and every taxi had a fare, as I made my way to the covered bus stop. By hunkering down behind the wall of the shelter, I was able to get less wet, as palm branches and plastic bags went whipping by. I poked my hand out whenever I saw a cab, but they were all occupied with luckier refugees than me. My normally optimistic attitude was taking some time off. What if my bus didn't make it? This isn't even the main part of the storm, and it's a 40 minute walk home on a nice day! Another 15 minutes of this, and the novelty may start to wear off. Oh, good here comes the bus! I got on with the last person at the stop. I found out later, this was one of the last buses running.
Since our apartment is by the sea, it's always windier. Windy enough to blow over a sanmo, if you check my spiffy cell phone photo above which I bravely took from a doorway as I made my way back home. By utilizing the leeward side of a couple of buildings I was only exposed to flying debris for a couple of minutes.
I'm home, my assistant vainly tried to catch her bus, then a taxi to our place. By then all the buses were done and the taxis weren't coming to our neighborhood, since it gets kind of floody on the way. She had a thrilling time getting soaked and scared until she finally located the Boss's home and he took her in. Now I can stop worrying and enjoy the storm.
A concrete building on the fourth floor is a pretty good place to be, especially since the wind is blowing parallel to our windows.
We've lost our water, but still have electricity, so I can keep going here.