In late August, at the end of our US vacation we stayed in Seattle. The weather was a lovely kind of pre autumnal delight that you get in the Pacific Northwest. The days were sunny and almost hot, and the nights were cool, verging on chilly. I enjoyed it, trying to absorb it into into my body and mind, as if I could bring it with me to the hot and humid part of the world where we were about to depart for.
We arrived in Hong Kong on a night that my grandmother, who was from Texas, would have described as "sultray". We took the bus into town, got off two blocks from our hotel, and arrived in the lobby with sweat dripping from our noses.
We decided to stay two nights and a day in that warren of Asian enterprise before heading to Zhanjiang. The next day was beautiful to look at, with crystal clear air, billowy clouds, but hellishly hot. We did enjoy exploring the tropical splendor of Kowloon Park, which is a wonderfully shaded place that makes such days somewhat less deadly.
Click image for larger view.
Our bus trip the next day was very uneventful. There was the usual slow traffic getting out of the Pearl River Delta megalopolis, but we eventually got to the much more scenic western part of Guangdong province. This somewhat mountainous and agricultural with countless small farms featuring well tended raised beds, rice paddies, and water buffalo. Tractors basically don't exist, and everything is done by hand, or by buffalo. Since it's the rainy season, massive thunder clouds dominate the skyline subjecting various areas to sudden downpours. I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that three days before, I was in modern, convenient America and now I was going through a place where the work and much of life hasn't changed in a thousand years.
So we have been back almost three weeks and weather has been hot, muggy, wet, windy, and really windy. Last week we had a "tropical depression" which is basically a wind free typhoon. If you were looking for excitement, it was kind of depressing, although I heard that a main underpass out of town was under water for a while.
However, a couple of days ago we had a Category 1 typhoon which was much more exciting since it hit us dead on. The day before it arrived, we did our usual preparations. We bought lots of groceries, beer and a bottle of vodka. We ordered extra drinking water and filled some water buckets so we could flush and wash dishes. Flashlights were made handy and all electronics were charged.
The main part of the storm was forecast to arrive Tuesday. On Monday, which is always the case before a Typhoon it was hellishly hot. The sky was bright white due to a thin overcast. I watched the satellite images as it approached well into the evening. I anxiously waited up until almost 1 am. I sat out on the balcony, cocktail in hand and in the muggy stillness watched an eerie light show of clouds lighting up as lightning flashed frequently. A breeze was starting to stir things a bit, but I was getting too sleepy to stay up any longer so I went to bed.
I awoke the next morning to howling wind and pouring rain, which got windier, and wetter as the morning progressed. Sheet metal tore flew off from one of our overhangs. We had to stuff towels around a window to soak up the water that was coming through. We lost internet for a couple of hours! That's it. We ate and drank and watched pirated TV shows. I'd look out the window every so often to see a tree down, or some loony out there scrounging the sheet metal that had blown off of somewhere. We live on the sixth floor of a massive concrete building. If we lived in a trailer park in Louisiana things might have been a little more eventful.
However, life was more eventful for the folks living in lower areas, like where I do my grocery shopping. There was a three foot storm surge out of the bay that flooded some homes and shops there. The next day had everyone out trying to clean up and salvage things. The general consensus is to avoid buying foodstuffs from anyone whose business got flooded for a while.
I also heard that some concessionaires by the bay had their little places washed out to sea and that bottles of Coke were being salvaged by enterprising beach combers. Some underground parking garages also flooded, which should ease traffic conditions until the insurance checks arrive.
Down the street where I go shopping was already getting back in business the next day:
Two days after the storm, I toured a narrow side street that had been flooded from the back of an e-bike. There was still some debris, but things had gotten pretty much back to normal.