No, I didn’t get blown away by the storm…

It actually fizzled out, headed away from us, and then changed direction, swooping back by to dump a boatload of rain on us – but not enough wind to qualify for a typhoon day off! Oh well, there’s always next year….

Since then I have been so swamped at work, but never fear, I’ve had some fun adventures I’ll share with you shortly.

 

 

Typhoon Saola

We knew it was coming. It was all over the news. By Wednesday afternoon we were told that if she struck, we’d have a day off work on Thursday. At 1755 they told us to vacate the building. I had tickets to see Dark Knight at the Viewshow (vee-shoe) near Taipei City Hall that evening and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a typhoon stop me! It started to rain as I left work so I took a taxi to the theater complex and met a friend for dinner – California Pizza Kitchen, go figure! After the movie (just as dark as the title implies) I thought I’d find a cab home. Guess everyone else had that same thought as we all got pounded by driving rain and strong winds. I finally gave up on the umbrella and sloshed my way over to the W hotel, to wait in line with everyone else waiting for a cab. By the time I arrived I was literally soaking wet. It was pretty hilarious, although the girls in short skirts and heels couldn’t understand why I was laughing (partly at their weather-inappropriate get ups and partly at my own dripping wet state).

One cool thing about waiting in lines in Taipei: you always meet the most interesting people! This time, I met three people from Hong Kong who told me they were “criminals”! Actually they work for Red Robot Labs on a game called “Life is Crime”! Now I’m literally (and virtually) a “typhoon gurl”!

Taipei Typhoon Gurl

Earthquakes, typhoons, and floods – oh my!

This week started off with a bang – literally! At 5am I was awoken by the building shaking and swaying and the sounds of, well of a 6.0 earthquake! http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usb000absf.php

It lasted about a minute but seemed longer. And all week, we’ve had after-shocks and a few more tremblers. (You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a ‘quake on the top floor of a 20-story building.) I’m told this is normal for this region: I’ve experienced more earth-shaking in this past week than in the past year! Maybe there’s an earthquake “season”?

Then of course, on Monday, at 2am, the torrential rains started. And I mean TORRENTIAL! So much so that suddenly, my outside wall was leaking water – and “little Lake Tong Hua” was forming in my bedrooms. Needless to say, it was not a restful night. Between the sheets of driving rain and the howling wind, they cancelled work – of course only after I’d arrived. LOL

Day 3 early am

I’m awakened by the sound of heavy rain pounding the hotel window. Weather reports say a typhoon is supposed to hit parts of the island. Taipei 101 is shrouded, barely visible, except for blinking (emergency?) lights on several of the top floors. The sound of rain is soothing and I feel safe, eight floors up. Below me in the street, trees are swaying wildly. Hot chocolate would be good right about now. I wonder how long the storm will continue? I had wanted to go walking the neighborhood around the hotel this weekend. On my way home from work yesterday, I saw several restaurants that looked promising, along with a hair and nail salon. The Taipei Film Festival (www.taipeiff.org.tw) started yesterday;  I asked around to find out if any of the films would be subtitled in English but no one is sure. I hear loud voices and laughter in the hallway. Maybe the bars close here at 2am too…

Day 2 am

It’s 3 am and I’m wide awake. I was having a strange dream and woke up. The room is quiet, no traffic noise from the street below my window. I made some tea and had a protein bar, thinking that might help me get back to sleep but no. I’m awake. I read a bit (The Little Princes, about an orphanage in Nepal) and then look out the window. It is light outside, Taipei 101 looks closer now. Low, gray clouds hang over the skyline. Yesterday we heard that there might be a typhoon headed our way but for now, all is calm. After breakfast, I will ask the front desk to map a walking route to work and call that my workout. Maybe I’ll try to sleep some more, until my 0600 wake up call…

Clouds over downtown Taipei

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As for me, I will take the road less travelled…