13 August, 2013

It's raining, It's pouring and Yours Truly is whining !!!

(pic courtesy : weathertrends360.com via Google)

It was too good to last, was it not ?  In fact, it was a wonder it did last as long as it did.  A shade over two weeks, I guess.  If you’re someone who lives in HongKong, you would have figured out by now as to what I’m getting at.  Oh yes !  The gloriously sunny weather, the lovely blue skies – the weather, over the past couple of weeks has been absolutely splendid.  Even as I read the Observatory forecast a week or so of rainy weather starting today, I did find myself, hoping against hope that the Observatory was wrong.  Unfortunately (in this instance), turns out they were right.   

There is something totally bleak and gloomy about rainy weather.  There definitely is a correlation between rainy weather and behavior that borders on either depressing or rebelling.  Many people have drawn comparisons between rainy weather and life itself.  I’m not particularly feeling philosophical today, given that it is raining cats and dogs. 

Warning : Major Rant Ahead !!

If it is just passing showers we are talking about, I guess a major portion of the population would not have complaints.  In HK, there is no concept of passing showers.  When it rains, it pours and it just keeps pouring and pouring and pouring.  This year, it has been even more special.  I think HK has already had about three times its share of the usual annual rains.  Now it is not as if this abundance of rain water is being harnessed and put to good use.  The rain water (most of it) goes waste and HK buys its water supplies from neighboring China.  Makes a hell of a lot of sense, that one !!

As is the case with just about anything in life, I guess, there are two sides to the rain coin too.  There are people (like me, for instance) who get driven right up the wall if the weather is constantly or continuously rainy and bleak.  Give it a couple of days tops and by the third day of rainy weather, you’d probably find me perched on the ceiling, giving people dark looks from up there too. 
I need to get out and about today afternoon in this supremely wet and miserable weather.  I, for one, do not look forward to walking on the roads of HK during rains. Out on the roads, walking around in HK with an umbrella during heavy rains is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  In this case, you are the red flag and you are the bull too.  For one, if you expect some sort of consideration from your fellow human beings on the road, it is as good as expecting the sun to rise from the West tomorrow.  I don’t know about other places but out here, in HK, is simply does not happen. 

In HK, at least among the local population, umbrellas are outdoor bowling balls.  As the owner of the umbrella walks on the pavement or the road, his/her only intention would be to ensure that their umbrella knocks down as many umbrellas moving in a direction opposite to them, as possible.  If you are walking with your umbrella open, hold on to it for dear life else your umbrella would end up being labeled “extremely accident prone”. 

If, in HK, you happen to be waiting at a bus stop for a bus, tell yourself repeatedly, time and again “I am Zen.  I am Zen.”  This is probably the only thing that would help you or stop you from screaming out aloud when you see people standing under the roof of the bus stops with their umbrellas wide open.  Oh yes, people !  Do spread the joy ! The skies would choose to open up extra heavy right then and all that water would pitter patter onto the open umbrellas and then guess where ?  Right onto you !!! It also does help that with an umbrella open, a person tends to take up the space of three people under the roof of a bus stop.  Yes, people in HK are very considerate that way.  Nineteen years here and I still haven’t been able to “get used” or reconcile myself to such thoughtlessness.

Yet again, the weather in HK is not just inconsistent.  It is incredibly fickle too.  HongKong is one of those places where one could start the day with bright sunshine and then witness rain pouring down in the next hour or so.  There could well be a storm in the afternoon and weather that is so calm in the evening that not a leaf on any single plant in the park would as much as a move.  HK is not just a multi cultural city it is some sort of a multi weather utopia too. 

I remember one such day, about a year back.  I was chaperoning Pecan over for his swimming lessons.  When we left home, the sun was shining nice and bright but by the time we reached Tsim Sha Tsui, it was pouring cats and dogs.  Oh well !  It was a swimming lesson and he had to get into the pool.  Not giving a thought to the fact that I would probably have to think of some quick laundry solution to dry our clothes at the YMCA (because we would be drenched by the time we walked from the bus stop to the YMCA), we made a dash for it.  We were just outside the YMCA when we saw these two youngish couples lounging around the entrance with an open umbrella !!  They were just aimlessly ambling around, taking up enough space such that no one could get in under the YMCA roof and they found it funny – the fact that they were standing under an open umbrella right at the entrance and that a large majority of the population there (some of whom were trying to get under the roof of the YMCA) were soaked to the skin but unable to get through these four morons “guarding” the entrance.  I honestly don’t remember what I said to them but from the stricken looks on their faces, I had indeed burst that tiny little bubble that they existed in, believing it to be the whole world.  I must have been quite a sight too, for they rushed off, giving the idiom “on the double” a totally different meaning.  If it was some experiment in psychology they were trying to conduct that day, I doubt if they got it done.  Or on second thoughts, maybe they did !  

Don’t you roll your eyes at me – I can see you doing that right now.  I warned you enough early on that this was going to be one massive rant.  If you’ve come this far, don’t look exasperated.  You should have considered yourself suitably warned and stopped reading before I got on your nerves !!!  Just saying !

Yet again, like I said earlier, there are two sides to a coin.  There are some  people who absolutely swear that rainy weather actually makes them feel better.  Yes, such people do exist, just in case you’ve begun to think that I’m off my rockers because of the rainy weather.

There have been people who have said that rain actually energizes them – because they equate rain to that marvel of nature that washes away sadness and such.  For some people, rain is something that calms them down and relaxes them. 

Aside of the logical theories that can be thrown my way (as in “can you imagine what it would be like if there were no rains.  There would be no water etc etc.  Thanks for that but yeah, I happen to know that.  Despite all that “Sherlocky logic”, constant rainy weather still turns me into a raving lunatic, as you can see. ), what kind of a “rain person” are you ?  Are you the kind that turns into some kind of demon with your nasty side being unleashed by constant rainy weather ?  Or are you the kind that turns all saintly and zen when the sky starts to send those droplets of water hurtling your way ? 

At times like these, the quote that comes to mind is this one :

“Anyone that thinks that sunshine is pure happiness has never danced in the rain”.  

Truth be told, I'll take sunshine over rain, any day.

How about you ?  Do tell.

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