Anyway, I've seen from a few Facebook updates that there has been some unusual weather in New York. And like the true New Yorkers y'all are, you are all complaining about it with the appropriate amount of hyperbole. One of my Facebook friends compared this week's weather to the film "The Day After Tomorrow" (oh, God, did I just say film?). But like the true New Yorker I
It's been raining nonstop since Sunday night. It is now Wednesday night Taiwan time. I am sitting in wet jeans after just getting back from dinner as I write this. I was actually having a conversation with my hallmates who think the rain started around Friday or Saturday. For the sake of making a dramatic point, I'm inclined to agree with them, but I remembered I had brunch with Lee* on Sunday afternoon and the weather was fine. So I'm sticking to my original point. Since Sunday night. Consistent rain. Days and nights. Kind of like the scenario that allowed that Noah person from the Bible to build that big ark. Except here in Taipei everyone just uses their umbrellas and deals with it. During my calligraphy class today I watched the rain fall for a few minutes through an open door, and was mesmerized by the unhurried way the droplets drizzled over the trees and plants. The scene felt prolonged, even eternal, and I realized then that the rain would finish when it was done, and not a moment sooner. No one accepts any kind of weather back in New York, and even the rain runs fifteen minutes late.
The last time it rained like this, I complained about it about every twenty minutes. About how my clothes were wet. About how I was wandering aimlessly in the middle of nowhere (I was in a fake aboriginal village in Taichung at the time). But strangely, this time I'm having a hard time finding anything to gripe about. My clothes are wet? There's a dryer right down the hall. And I did more than my fair share of wandering aimlessly on Monday, but it was one of the best times I had with anyone ever. I got lost on the Metro with my new British friend Sam (not to be confused with my British friend Scott) and we laughed hysterically about it for hours. It turns out Sam has a worse sense of direction than I do, but I was up for an adventure. We took four hours to have coffee, go to an electronics store, and have dinner because we kept getting on the wrong train. When we finally got on the right train, Sam and I were hypothesizing how funny it would be if we were going in the wrong direction. Considering how long it had taken us to drink coffee and run one errand, this scenario was becoming more and more plausible as we rode the MRT. Our laughter attracted the interest of an impeccably dressed elderly man. At first, he had no idea why we were laughing, so when Sam and I looked up and checked our reflection in the window of two foreigners struggling to keep our laughter under some kind of control, we were surprised to see an old man laughing with us.
"What is funny?" he asked, in English.
"My friend gets lost easily," I replied in Chinese. "I also get lost easily, and we have no idea where we're going."
The man nodded. "You speak good Chinese," he said.
I smiled and complimented his English, then turned back to Sam, who was checking his iPhone, which has a map of the Taipei MRT. "If we're going the wrong way, I'm going to cry," Sam said. A moment later, his body was convulsing with uncontrollable laughter. He laughed so hard tears sprang into his eyes, and I leaned against him, overwhelmed by our exponential ineptitude to arrive at any of our intended destinations. We were unable to look at each other with a neutral expression for the rest of the
Weirdly, the rain has brought some kind of consistency into my life. I go to class, take my meals and tea with Sam, Scott and Lee, and manage my life through the computer (email, organizing bill and tuition payments, blogging). I'll be glad to get back to my outdoor activities of running and hiking when the rain stops, but I won't not miss it when it's gone.
You guys, I was totally this cynical New Yorker two months ago (This Sunday makes two months of expatitude). Now I'm forgetting about Halloween (!) and saying semi-poetic things about rain (!!). SOMEONE PLEASE SHAKE ME. I AM NOT MYSELF.
*Not her real name, but she has requested I use discretion when I refer to her in my blog, as she is in Taipei with a Distinguished American Program.