Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Rainy Season 梅雨

The shades of green become vibrant to the point of seeming surreal during rainy season
My first and second rainy seasons were an experience of awe. Silly though it sounds, I had no idea so much water could fall from the sky. I know theoretically that Australia is the driest inhabited continent and that not raining for seven years at a time isn't exactly normal, but theory and experience are worlds apart. I took literally hours of video of rain falling (see a small sample below). It was all new and amazing.

Then, the magic wore off. I read a short sci fi story once (unfortunately I don't remember the title or the author) about explorers on a planet where it rains constantly. They go gradually insane, unable to ever get completely dry or avoid the sound of dripping. That's basically what rainy season is like, but add in everything growing mold and mushrooms. Wear a pair of shoes, put them away, take them out two days later and they are green and furry. Forget your sandwich on the counter for an hour? Don't even think about eating that bad boy. I mean it. Food poisoning spikes nation wide in June.

I seriously thought about quitting my job and leaving Japan during rainy season two years ago. My hatred of the season progressed to irrational levels of anger: why doesn't someone DO SOMETHING about this STUPID WEATHER?! It didn't help that I was being forced to cycle to work because of a very stupid policy. No matter how many layers of rain suiting I wore, I'd arrive soaked every day and developed a perpetual smell of damp dog from my steaming, damp, dog hair speckled clothing. I feared for my life every time a truck drove by spraying me with water and leaving me blinded and shaky. I started to go mad. Then one of my co-workers started cycling to work in his swim suit, his work clothes in a waterproof back pack. "I get soaked no matter what" he explained, I may as well keep cool and not have to carry wet things around. Somehow, that made everything better.
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  1. The good news is: the rainy season is almost over. I believe the prediction for the official end of the rainy season is the week of July 21st. The bad news is: typhoon season has an early start. After all of this fun is over, it will be hot and humid. Can't wait for autumn...

  2. Ahhh...many things I miss about Japan, but the rainy season is not one.

  3. The story you are thinking of is from the book The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. The title of the story escapes me at the moment but it takes place on Mars.

    1. Thank you Michael! If it was Bradbury it's no wonder I couldn't remember the title, I was seven when I went through my Bradbury phase XD

  4. I have something to admit, I kind of love the rainy season. The other day it was beautiful and sunny in the morning, thirty minutes after blue skies, the horizon turned black blue and I began my 30 minute bike ride home just as it approached and dropped crazy amounts of rain. It was kind of a pain in the ass, but like your friend, you're going to get wetter than if you jumped in the ocean, and riding home I had a bliss-like moment ... I'm totally drenched and don't care. Maybe it's cause I'm from a famously rainy place? Funny how that stuff effects us. Now as summer is just about to fully open, and like one of the other commenters, I can't wait for fall. P.S., Kyushu rainy seasons are more intense than Sea of Japan-side Honshu.


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