It's RAINING, it's POURING.....
I told Jon that last week it rained for 5 days straight when the tailend of a typhoon passed over Manila and he said he couldn't imagine what a typhoon (even the tailend) looks like. Well, today typhoon "Glenda" is passing by the northeast coast of Luzon (the Island Manila is on) so I can give you a bit of a description. I haven't experienced a typhoon by any means, but it's amazing to me the amount of rain even the outskirts of a typhoon bring!
I woke up this morning and noticed it was darker than normal. (Usually I wake up around 6 to bright sunlight streaming through the curtains, before I hide my head under the sheet and try to get back to sleep for another half hour). But this morning was gray and gloomy. And then I heard it - the unmistakable sound of standing directly under a waterfall. The rain was bucketing down on the tin roof of Sara's apartment - this was no light drizzles or gentle shower. I spared a thought for the clothes I had airing on the line (woohoo! They're being washed for me!) then rolled over and went back to sleep.
When I woke up again there was some anemic sunlight filtering through the clouds but I learnt last week not to be fooled. And indeed, by the time I got into the shower it was pouring again and I had not only the water from the bucket but also the water dripping from the ceiling and the stream coming in from the crack around the window to wash with.
I left the house with my pants rolled up to my knees. Not that the water was that high, but because flipflops kickup water and leave me with lines of splattered mud up the backs of my legs. They are also trecherously slippery, so that I was sliding all over the paved road as I walked.
By this evening though I need my pants rolled up because of the water. The main road through the neighbourhood looks like a river. In the middle of the road the water is only a couple centimeters deep but, at either side of the road are streams of fast-moving brown water, each over a meter wide and ankle-deep! It's amazing to think that this isn't even a real typhoon! The weather website I found describes the winds as "sustained strength of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph". The center is forcast to pass over the northernmost island of the Philippines, so hopefully the damage won't be too great. I was chatting to a woman who works in a cafe near where I'm staying and she told me that last year when a typhoon passed over Manila her house was flooded up to her chest. She moved all her things up to the top floor and had to swim to get out of her house! Work was cancelled, I guess it's the equivalent of our blizzard days.
Still, the nice thing about the rain is that it cools off completely (it's only 26 degrees right now!) and for the first time since I got here I can almost imagine needing a sweater :)
I'm at the red dot (I think).
Not a typhoon but rain and wind in Iloilo.