Friday, May 7, 2010
Black Rain, Concrete and Fog OH MY!
I experienced my first true rain storm in Hong Kong last night. Hong Kong is known for very powerful rainstorms. So powerful they have very descriptive names like Red Rain and Black Rain. The locals tell me when the Black Rain comes – and it will I have been assured - that everyone stays home and huddles in their flats (apartment for those of you from Alabama). When I asked are you kidding me? Surely it can’t be that bad that it needs a name like “Black Rain”. Evidently it rains so hard that it washes away the hill sides and floods the streets of downtown. To protect many of the hillsides in Hong Kong the government has covered them in expansive amounts of concrete. Nothing like a little concrete to highlight the natural flora and fauna! All modes of public transportation come to a halt and Taxi drives raise their rates over 500% to get you home safely. The term “Black” is meant to be ominous and we should take it very serious!
So I am not real sure what time it was but it was very dark. I was woken to the loud crash and bright light of a tremendous thunderstorm. Seeing this from the 27th floor of my flat was quite the sight and each time lightening would strike it would light up the interior of my bedroom like an old flash bulb going off. Of course in my sleep deprived haze it did not occur to me to get out the camera. But this image is what I awoke to. The water in the harbor was very calm and there was this eerie fog hugging the mountains of Hong Kong Island in the distance. The calm after the storm I guess. On a clear day – very few here in East Asia because of the pollution from 7 million people living within 100 square miles (I am sure somehow this is George Bushe’s fault) - you can see Hong Kong island and the tall buildings from where our Flat is in Discovery Bay. Today was one of those days although accentuated by the fog. Beautiful and eerie at the same time. Oh the joys of living in paradise!