Rain

Rain is nothing new, but the phenomenon doesn’t cease to amaze me, in particular because my relationship with precipitation has been different in each place I’ve lived. I was used to getting wet before I came to Indonesia. In Germany, rainy, splashy bike rides were normal. I was accustomed to flooding and puddles, but I was not used to motorcycles and cars plowing through the water as if they were jet skis and speedboats, while my bicycle turned paddleboat and I try to avoid getting washed away.

Weather patterns at my site, while not exactly the same day in and day out, are fairly predictable. During rainy season, when that daytime temperature peaks at around noon, you can assume rain is imminent. Sometimes the dark gray skies don’t deliver what they promise, but more likely than not, the heavens will open and earth and sky will be connected by long, silver streams of water.

Showers can last all day, but they generally don’t. I’ve been warned that this will change as the season progresses, but at this point, waiting out the rain on a given afternoon or evening is often a realistic option. When I’m not itching to be somewhere else, I usually wait a bit. There’s always someone to talk to, assuming you can make yourself heard over the pounding rain. When I’d rather be on my way, I put on my impermeables, slip on some sandals and surrender myself to the wet.

By the time I was sitting on my bike on Monday, ready to go home, the rain had pretty much stopped. I left my rain gear on though, and I’m glad I did. My school clothes were happy, too (they told me so later). Within minutes of leaving, I got splashed by the wannabe watercraft tearing past me in both directions.

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On Tuesday, it seemed to safe to skip the rain gear, but halfway home, it started spitting. As I rode on, the almost imperceptible drops turned to drizzle and finally, to steady rain. Had I been farther from home, I might have stopped to put on my rain jacket and pants, as I’ve done many times before, but my clothes were already wet, and I had almost reached my destination anyway.

Rainy season doesn’t just complicate travel and transportation; it also disrupts doing laundry, that is to say, drying laundry. I rely on the sun for that, and if the sun only shines for half the day (or less), it really puts a damper on things. I try to have my clothes washed and hung before the sun hits the clothes line, even if that means doing laundry at 5:00 am.

Today it’s been consistently “cool” (77°F, 25°C) and cloudy, and as I type this last sentence, I can hear the first drops of inexorable rain.

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