Here there be Typhoons

Heatstroke season is just about over here in Japan and coming in along with the return of pants, proper shoes, and full battle armor(suit and tie) by the end of October are…

Typhoons.

If you’ve ever lived in a country that gets regular typhoons than you know my pain.  September has barely started the weather can now change on the slightest of whims.  We can be enjoying pleasant and fun beginning-of-autumn sunshine one minute, and then running for our lives from a torrential rainstorm the next.   Riding on a bicycle through a typhoon? I don’t recommend it.  Walking through a typhoon? I recommend even less.

Last week we had a typhoon on my day off and it wrecked all sorts of havoc in this prefecture and just yesterday my regular Tuesday trip into Nagoya was all sunshine and waffles.  Or, at least it seemed that way right up until the skies opened up and the great thunder god Thor decided it was high time for a little thunder, lightning and rain capable of backing up toilets.  It lasted for two hours and keep me indoors for the entire time.  When it finally ceased, the ground was dry in less than 20 minutes.  Crazy.

If I ever held the notion that it rained a lot in Vancouver, that illusion has been thoroughly dispelled.  It does rain frequently back home, but the rain is light to moderate, usually pleasant and rarely miserable.  Carrying an umbrella is a choice and a good rain jacket is enough most of the time.  But here neither is enough on their own.  One must prepare accordingly.

Rain isn’t light in Japan*.  In fact, a light rain here is enough for me to seriously consider having a good long stare down and see who blinks first.  A heavy rain, hopefully without wind, is enough to soak my jacket and any bag I might have in less than a minute.  If it has rain my feet are getting soggy as well.  And at the same time it’s also hot.  Not crazy hot, usually somewhere in the high twenties, but still hot all the same. So even though the rain didn’t soak my clothes, the sweat and humidity under the jacket did.

No matter what country I go to, I always miss the weather of the Pacific Northwest.  It was obnoxiously wet, and it got you cold on those wet but snowless winter days, and if you saw the sun between November and March you broke into tears and clawed upwards towards the sky until its benevolent light faded.

-GJ

*Citation needed

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