02 August 2009

White Sky

It was 33 degrees (93° F) by nine o'clock this morning and the air felt like someone in heaven was bearing down with a plunger. Glancing outside at the white sky and bluish haze in the hills brought premonitions of heavy weather. The usually steady breeze through the valley was reduced to a few puffs. The birds seem nervous; there are more inside the trees, bickering with each other, than flying around or pecking seeds out of the ground. The only things active are squadrons of red and orange dragonflies. This is how it always feels before a typhoon, like the whole world has dug in its claws in anticipation.

I checked the weather satellite photo. There's an enormous spiral of clouds between here and the Philippines which they're calling a tropical depression. Heavy rain is predicted for the middle of the week. It's a normal August, the height of typhoon season.

In the rest of Hong Kong hot and stormy August is the month when traditionally, since colonial times, everyone who can leave does leave. It's still true among most of the expatriate community and the Chinese upper crust. But here in Wang Tong, nobody I can think of has gone away. Maybe it's just too nice a place to rush away from. Who needs the Thames or the Seine or the Hudson River when you've got the Wang Tong Stream?

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