June 24, 2011

Nature Heaves Her Bounds and Swimmers in the shadows

Even as I write this the heavy rain is pelting the windows and creating an underlying background rhythm. These are not the normal rain, and in Hawaii we saw quite a bit of rain, these drops are enormous. They land with a hard splat and instantly soak every surface in a matter of minutes. The good thing is they are not picky, they treat everything the same, they will soak the grass, car, sidewalk, road, house and suits and new silk ties equally--nothing gets left out.

It started raining yesterday. They tell us that it is rainy season here, but ever since we arrived the weather is similar to Hawaii. We expect rain at least once a day and a bad rain every few weeks. But this is 'typhoon' weather. Go big or go home, right? When I sit at my desk, I have a wonderful view out gorgeous picture windows to the buildings manicured lawns and the parking lot. Just beyond that is a large wall that separates the building from the Manila bay. Yesterday the windows were pattering their tune adding more white noise to an already buzzing room. I watched as people ran to and from their cars with umbrellas and bright yellow rain suits; the umbrellas appeared completely useless whipping around in the wind and large drops of rain almost vertical and the rain suits just looked down right comical. It was not until I went upstairs on an errand that I saw more than the parking lot and how the, normally calm, sea was churning and waves were crashing up against the walls all the way down the street. Large crests of nature's sheer power would careen into man made walls and with majesty, displayed angry white foam several feet in all directions.  It was mesmerizing. The battle against man and nature. Neither were giving in. Nature was literally heaving her bounds--bounds that man gave her anyway...

It rained all night, I went to the gym and was soaked before I even got there! Bad idea. I had to call someone to tell them water was flowing into the place from the old cinder block wall. I am still not sure if that is normal because it was still happening today.But hey, electrical machines and some water, no bid deal, right? We came to the gym to raise our heart rate anyway, how bad is a little extra energy?

Today the rain continued, traffic was lighter this morning because most people decided to stay home. Yet it was still slow because there was flooding everywhere. We were able to leave early because the weather was just not letting up.

Hiva and I decided that we were not scared of the water, we put our shorts and slippers on, took the two umbrellas and walked to the mall. It was nice because there was hardly anyone else there, something rare since we have been here in Asia. We watched a movie--the only dry, non staying home activity within walking distance--and the rain pounded on the metal roof so hard the music soundtrack was muffled.

The cab driver could not get close to our house because of the flooding so he dropped us off down the road and we walked through the sludge up to our knees to the house. I say sludge because it is brown and has floating debris and obstacles in it. We are near the bay so all the water from the city to the east runs this way...I am trying not to think about WHAT the obstacles and debris really ARE that we are sharing the water with!

We went to take some photos because the whole area looks like a large lake. The pool is even spilling over the edge. As we went to step off the curb, I was looking close because it is hard to tell where the curb is under three feet of dirty water and just as I put my foot down something swam out of the dark shadow and around my leg before darting back in! YIKES! I jumped because I did not know what it could be, a fish? Not likely because that would mean they live in the sewers, a rat? Ok, again not wanting to think about the possibilities! I jumped and yelled, "Did you see THAT?!" Lady Hiva was right behind me and I landed hard on her foot from my jump. "Owe! You hit my foot!" She was dancing in pain and I was dancing because something living, black, and nasty just swam up my leg and wanted to ravenously bite me and give me all its diseases it carries from the feces it eats daily---ok, a bit dramatic, but it did startle me. I tried to apologize by explaining why I jumped, Lady Hiva was not buying it and accusingly retorted, "You SAW something in the water so you HAD to jump on my FOOT?" Well, when you put it like that maybe I was over reacting a bit...

The best was all the wires stretching out in different areas to pump water out, ironically those wires, some exposed completely, were just floating in the water! A little zap is not too bad right? Or is that over reacting again? (Hiva says I am the 'drama queen' in our family, I am not sure how to take that, so I just wear the title proudly, because with her easy-going nature it really is true)


  1. im glad you guys are safe. some cities have it worse - no power, higher water (filthy water). Last year I stayed at my in-laws and typhoon came, 2 days no power and some billboard came falling down it was crazy, and the wind felt like it was gonna rip off our roofs. Stay safe you two, theres more lurking in the flood water, and that one who tried to play with Dustin was probably a rat. I'm sorry smart urban planning never occurred in my country - pretty much build anything as long as its a vacant spot (like drive through as long as you fit). Its only June, so more rains, more flood...be safe you guys! Take care :) -JV

  2. OMG! Makati is not nearly that flooded!!! I think it's time you guys invest in some Hunter boots. They're not cheap, but they're efficient... http://www.zappos.com/hunter-hunter-original-black~1 (and no worries there are some cute colors for Hiva too)

    Karl and I have been wearing the mid-calf one, that's enough for here. (My humongous calves did not fit on the knee-high ones...)

  3. That water is scary, let alone your friend in the water. Please don't go out; I'm worried about those exposed electrical lines.