Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beijing's Biggest Rainstorm in 61 Years

I know I've been off the radar for a bit, but this is pretty amazing. Also, i don't have to do much work for this post, because Tao has done it all on his cool new blog: Beijing Cream. I'm not even in Beijing now, Esther and i moved to Hangzhou about a week ago... more on that later, i promise.

In one our last few days in Beijing about two weeks ago, we got caught in a 45 minutes long torrential downpour. It started so suddenly and intensely that we were actually only about one minute from our home when it happened. We looked at the sky and said, out loud, "Yeah, it's probably not going to rain. No worries." A minute later, we found ourselves huddled in the doorway of a small hutong courtyard, along with another random guy.

We stood there for about 25 minutes, admiring the rain from safety. Then the river came. It started flowing from the street, running in waves. Then, it came from inside the hutong, flowing out into the street through our little protected doorway. The three of us then found ourselves perched up on whatever buckets or bricks we could find, uncomfortably trapped for the next 20 minutes. Esther finally used our one umbrella (a tiny one, still basically useless against this storm) to fetch me some flippy-floppies, and a second umbrella. My hero.

Out on the main street, cars were being buried in the rain, water was up to our knees, buses were creating waves big enough to crest when the reached the curb.

And apparently that was nothing compared to this, which happened just a few nights ago:



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