21 October 2011

Cold, rainy evening

I happen to like rainy days, especially in the evening and throughout the night that brings the ambient temperature down after a hot day. The air is filled with the pitter patter of raindrops falling on rooftops fill the air, splashing as they flow down in columns of liquid from the edges. The atmosphere is generally gloomy with occasional cool breeze of the air causing shudders.

Heavy rains are welcomed usually after long dry spells where the heat becomes unbearable - the air in the room heated, the car air conditioners not strong enough to keep it cool, the humidity causing sweat beads to build up even in the shade.

Something like meeting your girlfriend's father for the first time.
More than five years ago we had a mother of all storms (not the, but one of) when it rained so hard that I couldn't see further than 10 meters and water flying almost horizontally across the windscreen. Moments earlier there were hailstorms before the heavens opened up and literally broke lose. The freaky weather was on the news, many cars were damaged by falling branches or uprooted trees, roofs especially tin were blown off - you'd thought a hurricane passed by Subang Jaya.

During the first year in university I lived in the residential college located somewhere at the outskirts of the campus area (UPM is freaking huge). My room faced what was largely flat terrain with low hills and the highway - the engineering faculty would have covered the view now - one of our favourite things to do during rainy evenings were to sit near the window and watch lightning literally tearing downwards, the bright flash in the gloomy sky followed by the roar of angry thunder. Everybody would just sit back and watched nature's spectacular show without saying a thing.

God showing off.
 People tend to be calmer and less confrontational during slow, rainy days. Perhaps the cooled air or the soothing sounds of water hitting earth, windows, cars, streets, tree canopies, or just the idea of kicking back until the rain stops automatically slows down the mind and body.

Some of the weirdest things I've ever done was to actually walk into the rain with an umbrella,  just watch ripples fill the surface of water puddles, leaves moving as rain droplets hit them as well as drain water flowing furiously. I was warned to never go too near to the drains when they are flowing as so from the many news stories of drowned children who taught it fun or fell in accidentally whilst crossing. Other times I would just sit and watch rain hit the window, throwing patterns of flowing water lit by either the faint sun or the street lightning onto the face and wall.

One year we had the town level National Day Parade going on with each school and certain government agencies taking part, when not even halfway through it rained, subsided and rained again. Fortunately it wasn't heavy, simply drizzle in the evening that pretty much got us who carried the papier mâché robot in the wet. Unfortunately though, mom slipped and sprained her ankle when they came out to watch the last bit of the show and then to fetch me home. Her left feet was swollen bad and couldn't walk properly for the next two weeks. It rained again when I reached home - slept for twelve hours straight.

Must... *choke* ... stay... emo...gah!
Another memory of getting soaked in the rain at school was during the anniversary Sports Day. Organised by the prefectorial board and volunteers - invitation, arrangements, stadium rental, performances, timekeeping, medals and trophies all done by students; teachers just advised and kept tabs on us - it rained during the opening march past. The prefects whom were not participating in the races were in full uniform and blazers, whilst the first aid teams and scout members were all over the place assisting in the event. Fortunately again though, the rain wasn't very strong and has stopped by the time the first race started. Truth to be told nobody complained about it back then - perhaps we were made of sterner stuff - and had a great time out. I could still feel the chill of having the cold wind blowing onto the warm body.

There's a saying that getting wet a little will get you sick whilst getting totally wet would be fine, which is partly true from my point of view. The body heats up when one gets wet, I'd imagine the body does not regulate the temperature evenly when only some parts are wet or cold. I would usually take an either warm or cold shower (the latter resulting in wide eyed shivering) to ensure the headache does not develop later.

The rain has subsided somewhat now although still falling, the sounds of falling water slowing to a quieter splat and splash with the occasional faint crack of thunder.

So excuse me while I retreat to bed and snuggle under the blanket enveloped in the coolness.

Good night, my friends.

Ever wonder why sleeping photos are almost always in the bright daylight?

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