Typhoon I

    We had a typhoon! A TYPHOON! A real one! 11 on the scale of these things (max 14). I was quite excited, it was my first typhoon.

    It’d been rainy for a couple of days, then on Tue I was eating dinner in the school canteen and one of the school staff told me Shantou was having a typhoon that evening. Then someone else said it was Wed aft, then in evening class my student said it was going to miss us. It’s always a bit vague like that. Anyway went home that evening and while watching ‘House’ (the one with the doctor? Very well written, TVB Pearl.) my colleague told me that school had been cancelled by the government coz there was a typhoon tomorrow (Wed) aft. Wahey!

    Now, it’s not good to be happy about typhoons. But I was a bit. Woke up on Wed to raining, and went out straight away to the market - no way I was starving. After that I didn’t really go out all day. Around midday the weather got really crap and by the afternoon the roads were flooding. I was sooo bored, so went to local internet bar for a bit. Then went home and by 5 o’clock it was a bit silly to go out by choice. The time of typhoon arrival got later and later, while the water got higher and higher, but the wind wasn’t extremely impressive.

    Well it got dark and I watched tv and studied Chinese. Oh and watched the Shantou channels for the little tickertape message updates about how far the storm was, and phoned my friends.

    By midnight it was really strong! Really strong! Things were creaking and cracking and smashing, scratching, metal, glass, other things. I can’t believe how late out some people were. When I went downstairs around midnight the doormen thought I was crazy and wouldn’t let me near the actual entrance - quite sensible really. The water was coming up the steps.

    Features of interest: abandoned cars Everywhere. When I went downstairs there was an ambulance stuck outside my building. Lots and lots of water, and no street lights, which meant there wasn’t much to see.

    This morning when I went out to have a look the water had gone down a lot - Huashan Lu was still swimming - I got a salinger to take me across, everywhere was filthy and although no cars had turned over, there were trees all over the place.

    But the cleanup has been very quick, most trees have already been hacked up and are waiting for collection, shops have been rinsed out and roads swept clean. The roads are also already dry, because today has been lovely and sunny, with a gentle breeze.

    On a less happy note, there were almost no veggies in the markets today :( they’ve all been flattened, and I hear that two children were crushed by a house in the old city - it collapsed.

    Maggie Ad