05 February 2010

When it Rains ...

... yep, you got it.  It pours.  No, but like -- it actually pours.  Such that, though one rode one's bicycle, Maurice, to work, one nevertheless finds it necessary to swim home.  With Maurice.

So, it seems that the much-anticipated Rainy Season, though unfashionably late, has arrived.  For realz.  It's been raining pretty regularly over the past few weeks, which means that sometime during the early or late afternoon clouds gather, the sky turns ominously black, and an ocean of fresh water pours forth from the sky in the form of nine gazillion fatty raindrops.  Somehow, up to this point, I've been able to avoid having to go out during the worst of the monsoons and have successfully limited my transit necessities to times when it is only drizzling.  Mission "Don't Let My Work Shoes Start Molding" thus far accomplished.

Today, sadly, this was not the case.  (I should have known, since it hadn't rained in two days and when I woke up this morning to check the weather, my iGoogle gadget informed me that it was about 88ºF with 91% humidity.  Great.)  The rain started as I walked in to teach my 1PM class, and by the time I dismissed my students at 2:45 and gathered my things to go home, the tropical thunderstorm was in full swing, complete with dramatic flashes of lightning and show-offy cracks of apocalyptic thunder.  My choices were few: 1) stay at school and wait for the rain to stop, or 2) go home in the rain.  It being Friday, I was in no mood to hang around the office, and besides, this was always going to happen sooner or later.  Time to face the music, Fiona, and pull out those flippers.

Preparing to go home in the downpour, of course, was a full operation.  First, I rolled my sleeves up above my elbows and rolled my pants up above my knees, to minimize the square inchage of clothing that would get completely soaked.  Then, I took off my work shoes, put them in my backpack, and changed into my Old Navy flip-flops that I carry in Maurice's basket in a plastic bag in case of this precise situation.  Finally, I donned my bright blue one-size-fits-all poncho, complete with reflector stripes, and fitted my helmet over the hood on my head.  Outfitted thus, I was ready to brave Noah's Ark Take Two.  Yogya doesn't have the best drainage system, so most of my ten-minute bike ride home was performed through one continuous lake of varying depths.  The better moments were when the lake was only a few inches deep; the worse moments were when the water came to pedal level, halfway up Maurice's wheels, and I wondered if we might just kind of tip over and float away.  It didn't help that I couldn't see much since Mother Earth was giving my exposed face a good raindrop scrubbing, but Maurice and I made it home without any hydroplane mishaps and surprisingly only mildly soaked.  And after I changed my clothes and toweled off my face and limbs, you almost couldn't tell I'd just invented a new water sport on my way home from work.  

Best of all, of course, was that my work shoes (in my backpack and under my poncho) stayed dry.  No mold for those loafers today!  But I'm not going to count my chickies before they hatch -- I've heard my share of mold horror stories, and with weather like this, you just never know.  It's the tropics, after all.  Stuff molds. Whatcha gonna do but keep the fan on and your fingers crossed?  And wear all your clothes as often as possible, I guess, so they don't stay stationary.  I've heard that helps.

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