Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away

Just saying: since June 22, Korea has received approximately 87% of the anticipated annual perception. And quite a bit of that has fallen in the last 48 hours.

Floods, sewage, power outages, landslides, crippled public transportions, and drownings are as expected. What's different in Seoul (than the expected list of tragedies and incidences in the wake of a massive storm,) is that millions of commuters still struggle to get to work and school. When people should be looking after their families and property, helping their neighbors, they're all trying to get to work and study.

In Seoul, this means people stranded on expressways on top of their cars and in flooded subways. One of my students, yesterday, waded through her flooded neighborhood, from her flooded home, to get to school only to cry and apologize for missing my class and ask for my phone number. Afterwards, she returned to home. No kidding. What stupid parent sent her through the sewage to get my phone number and apologize?

It's upsetting to think that thousands and thousands of people are expected to put their lives on the line to beat their bosses to work and teachers to the classrooms in these circumstances.

Of course, I'm addressing students and business men and women. I'm not criticizing the thousands of business owners all over Korea for whom storms like this are potentially permanently financially devastating, who cannot afford to close for even one day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Rain

So, this is what the last week of the rainy season looks like this year. Crazy storm hit yesterday and is still raging.

It reportedly rained over 70mm, around 3 inches, during a two-hour storm late yesterday afternoon. We were stuck in Hyehwa waiting for the rain to stop enough for us to ride the scooter home. But yesterday's sudden downpour is nothing compared to the early morning storm.

The storm that began in the earliest hours today and thrashed us with early morning lightning and thunder for 90 minutes has almost certainly dumped yesterday's rain two times over.

I put on my swimming trunks and cleaned the walls and windows outside the apartment that were filthy from Seoul's daily dirt, and beginning to mold and mildew from the two months of rainy season weather. That kind of green is not welcome.

According to estimates, it'll have rained somewhere around 600-700mm by Thursday when the storm is supposed to begin to clear out. That's around a foot of rain in 48 hours. I think those estimates were made at the beginning of the storm and may increase.

Three o'clock yesterday afternoon, the humidity was intense and as the sun set it cooled off quick producing intense storms. The picture above is typical of what happened around the city. It's the heaviest rainstorm in Seoul since I moved here in 2008.

We live on a hill, so no flooding here. I'm sure Dorimcheon--the river down the street--is swollen, if not dumping its excess into the lowest streets

It's a fitting storm for my birthday, I think. It's like a long-waning wail against the oppressive summer heat.

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