I tried to go for a run last night, only to be caught up in what has probably been Chengdu's heaviest storm to date this season. It seems inevitable that once a year, everybody's going to be caught in one of these--last year it was on my way to teach classes, and I was on the bus when it started pouring, and when I had to get off it hadn't let up at all; all three of us foreign teachers were drenched to the bone. Yesterday was my turn for this year.
I figured, when it started drizzling, that there would be a chance the rain would get heavier, but I persisted running around the track anyway. Along with the rain drops, which, with the heat and my running, didn't feel very cold anyway, came plenty of thunder and lightning, which, thanks to this article, was causing me some concern. As the drops grew more frequent, I finally decided to head home, and I was walking through campus when buckets just started pouring out of the sky. I've only witnessed this in L.A. once, but it seems to happen in Chengdu (and also Bangkok) with some regularity. I sought cover under a building overhang, while everybody else--who all seemed prepared with umbrellas--ran around screaming and hailing cabs. I figured I could hang out under the overhang for a while until it lightened up, given that all I was wearing was a white T-shirt and running shorts, when suddenly an empty cab appeared! Hallelujah! An empty cab in the rain is a rare thing indeed. Figuring it was then or never, I ran out into the rain, completely soaking myself in the process. The driver looked at me, slowed down for a second, and kept on driving.
Figuring that I was already drenched to the bone, I might as well keep going, so I made the ten-minute walk out to the bus stop, being poured on and wading through puddles that were five or six inches deep in some places. I got to the bus stop and stood there, wringing out my shirt and trying to look nonchalant.
The weather here is wack, and this entry is totally banal.