Black Rainstorm Warning

Saturday night. After a fantastically delicious Cantonese dinner with some 8 bankers and their partners, we hit up Pi and Volar, two pretty happening nightclubs in the Lan Kwai Fong district. We partied it up with some old faces and new friends, a grand old time. (But note to self: if someone asks if you've ever drank a Flaming Lamborghini, do not reply with, "A flaming what?" because chances are you'll get one.)

Then somewhere around 2:30am, decided to call it a night. And someone commented.

"It's raining outside."

From the basement entry, I looked upwards through the front door. In between the huddling clubgoers, all I saw were crowded vertical lines of water pouring down. There was a sudden silence as we realized how bad it was.

My jaw dropped onto my foot.

But, banking on my experience in tropical climates -- where it rains hard for 30 minutes, washes and cools the city, and then the sky opens up again -- I made a suggestion.
"Let's just wait here until it calms down."
"No, it's going to rain for a long time. If we want to go, we should go now."

So we joined the huddling masses at the door, heads lowered, watching the river flow by. Taxis came one by one, and we couldn't even get close to them before someone jumped in the middle of the street and stole it. S and I, being the gracious men we are, decided we'd head "upstream" around the corner and catch one before everyone else.

It only took a few seconds.

Huge bullets of rain pelted at me, and I was drenched. I stepped off the curb to catch an approaching cab, and found myself completely immersed up to my ankles in Hong Kong rainwater. Worse yet, the cabbie told us he was only picking up people heading into Kowloon -- so we had to get back out.

We finally get one. The two of us are completely soaked to the bone, and we get a call from the girls saying they're already in a cab -- we agree just to meet at home. Of course, it's Good Luck Day, and driving halfway home, Kennedy Road is closed due to flooding. (We had to turn back, drive all the way around to the other side, and ascend Kennedy Road from the opposite end.)

Many minutes later, we're home, showering, and tossing the wet clothes into the dryer for an overnight quick-dry.

The next morning, in our mad rush to pack (and do an early in-city check-in so we can shop more) ... they were still wet. Plastic bags loaded with soppy jeans and shirts, I stuff it into my duffel and haul the heavy load back to Taipei to launder. (Wet clothes, left to fester for roughly 10 hours. Mmmm, what a lovely thought.)

And that's why when Hong Kong gets a black rainstorm warning, you stay out of the rain, dammit.

1 comment:

Ben said...

As a follow-up, I threw my shoes into the washer/dryer to give them a good cleaning. I guess my dryer uses really really high temperatures, because when the shoes came out, they were completely deformed.

Dammit, and I loved these New Balance shoes -- the most comfy shoes I'd ever walked in. Ugh.

Damned black rain, it ain't over yet between you and me!