Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Put Away Wet

Rainy season, Phnom Penh.

Rain here is targeted like a... oh does anyone have an untired metaphor here? For the moment I will use laser  as a place marker until I can think of, or someone suggests, an undamaged alternative. Anyhoo, I can endure the downpour of the decade near my apartment in Wonderland Villa (BKK 1) steaming the engine on my moped, flooding the streets ankle, shin, knee deep and the next day I will ask Robert, who lives out by the airport (a kilometer away) how he liked the deluge, if he had pairs of animals knocking at his door, he will reply, "It didn't rain yesterday at my house. Not a drop."

There seems to be a special God of Rain Timing and Location pinpointed on my sorry ass come quitting time at school. Maybe it is a message: Stay longer and help those kids more you lazy dog (chiguy kchul in khmer). I know it is wrong to personalize such matters, but I fully understand the urge to pray for and curse the weather.  There isn't a whole lot else to do,after all. I have thought about rain pants and a proper coat. Sounds bulky, carrying it around 'just in case'. And like the doctor appointment that instantaneously cures all symptoms of malady, carrying a massive and actual waterproof ensemble would surely result in infinite blue skies. Not a bad idea, but I would hate to do that to the farmers, and besides I do love the rain in many conscious and unconscious caverns of my soul.

So what I do is get wet or some days buy a rain coat on the street for 2000 riel (50 cents) like most everyone else. I rock it like all the cool kids..

And the pack I bought for my camera and laptop has a handy pullout cover so that usually gets me home more or less soggy rather than soaked.

The plastic is just thin enough to be ineffective, and the seams are, I think, held together with spit. This may explain why the first time I put one on I ripped both sleeves off at the shoulder. Or it could be the size. Those sleeves are fully extended in the photo.  Anyway, as I ride the rain eventually blows up my legs and then into my crotch.

The rain is warm, so the real challenge lies in seeing where I'm going through my dark smoke and water coated visor (when it gets thoroughly blurry I opt to drive with my 'beaver up'), and navigating the flooded streets. An already narrow and twisty event ramps up to "Expert Gamer" mode, everyone trying to hog the somewhat dry center section of tarmac. Good fun. Once my Go camera gets here I plan to put together a tasty collection of the commuter death spiral I wend through twice a day. Stay tuned.

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