Thursday, September 14, 2006

rain, rain...

It's the end of Monsoon season. Whew. Also known as the beginning of Typhoon season. Yikes!

We got a typhoon warning yesterday. We were pretty far away from the typhoon which passed to the southwest of us. It started two days ago at a typhoon warning level 1, and jumped yesterday morning to a typhoon level 3. I'm told there is no typhoon level 2. Classes would get cancelled if it went to a typhoon level 8 (and no, there is no typhoon level between 3 and 8==this feels like tennis).

We also got warnings for rain. It went from Amber to Red (in Southern California, an Amber alert means they're trying to find a child abductor; here, it means it's raining). Classes would get cancelled if it went to black.

I find that many Hong Kongers don't make much of a distinction between heavy and light rain, though. Sometimes it was pouring down pretty hard, sometimes it was lightly misting in a way that Seattle residents would characterize as "a nice day for a leisurely stroll". But Hong Kongers, in either scenario, crouch under awnings, then dash out with umbrellas, hoping to minimize the damage to their bodies due to water, and complain that it is, well, quite wet out. Several weeks ago, when it was lightly misting (no typhoon warning), the office staff at the HKBU international office were concerned for me that I didn't bring an umbrella in to work. They wondered if I was going to be okay. This, considering that it sometimes rains quite a bit more than that here, and sometimes people just have to handle it.

I wonder what it's like when the rain warning level goes to black.

We leave for Xi'an tomorrow morning. It's been a headache trying to arrange all of this, and that's when we already have a tour guide set up. We're leaving from Shenzhen airport because it's a LOT cheaper to fly to mainland China from there. I didn't consider, however, the practicalities of 10 people trying to get there to make an 8:30 am flight. Considering that there is at least one stop for switching transport, and one stop to go through customs/immigration, so that we'd need to leave before any public transportation is running.

Winifred from the International Office here solved our problem by booking us a private bus to take us to the airport. It's still a cost I hadn't counted on, though.

And we still have to work out details as to how our tour guide will be paid. He doesn't take credit cards. And much of it is in US prices. Well, I'll report on how it went when we get back.

But for color coded alerts, I thought I'd share these links. They're old but they're fun.

New terror alert codes

Ze Frank's satirical movie on terror alert codes


At 1:13 AM, Blogger j.Hipp said...

Great blog Dr Iga. It's very informative and now I know what season we're actually in - I kept hearing the terms typhoon and monsoon thrown around but didn't actually know what season we we're in! haha. Well anyway, have a great time in Xi'an and I'll see you Monday night.


At 8:12 AM, Blogger Kevin Iga said...

Thanks! I'll see you around.


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