Friday, August 10, 2007

Yesterday the sky turned grey and the trees starting dancing. Great kite-flying weather. From the wide window of our office I could see over the river below. Three retired men were out flying long-tailed kites, and from my vantage-point on the 9th story, they looked like scarves dancing above the city. Very Arabian.

Following that ominous sky was a huge storm. It began thrashing in the middle of the night, waking me up at 3am. It was one of those alarming - but exciting - leftover-from-the-typhoon-type storms with lots of thunder and lightning (very close to my window!) and rain pounding staccato rhythms on every hard surface. I sat up and watched it for awhile before going back to sleep. I woke up again to a softer pattering of drips from the roof, and bits of persistent light inching through the window.

Later in the morning, as I was padding through the kitchen, Auntie Wang grabbed me, pulled me to the front of the stove and thrust a pair of chopsticks in my hands. Through an elaborate dance of gestures, we established that I was in charge of cooking breakfast. Auntie Wang provided all the seasoning and spices (unmarked in interesting jars...i need to find out what those were!), and cooking tips (more emphatic gestures). I stirred the noodles in my pajamas while Auntie Wang smiled and tsked her tongue in approval as she leaned over and wiped up the water puddling by the door.

The rain was still splashing as my tutor and I walked together towards our daily lesson. She told me that the storm is part of a typhoon that hit her hometown yesterday. Grinning, she said that last year a typhoon took the roof off her house, and her father patched it in the sunshine the next day. I asked if her family would ever think of moving to a new (typhoon-free) city, and she said no, they love their home. Besides, the days after typhoons are always so beautiful.
Hadn't I noticed?