Far from a simple adage when speaking of monsoon season in Cambodia. We had a few scattered showers over May, but this past week the rain has increased 10 fold, culminating in the last 3 days which we’ve had multiple torrential downpours every day. And by “torrential” I mean enough to drench your entire body in 30 seconds and to flood the streets in 5 minutes. Attempting to get anything done is a feat of will on these days when you have no idea if the moment you step out of your house the skies will open up and swallow you whole.
Unfortunately, Phnom Penh suffers from poor urban planning and consequently the advent of rainy season here inevitably entails coming to terms with the deluge of street floods. I quite enjoy a downpour here and there, especially when you still get sunny mornings as we usually do. However, having to wade through dirty (probably slightly toxic) flood water for 5 blocks in the rain just to find a tuk tuk last night was less than ideal. Though I suppose this all adds to the bizarre, inexplicable charm of this darling city of mine. Learning to cope with the extreme weather fluctuations becomes a game of timing…. testing how long you have to make it to the nearest cafe or bar as the storm clouds roll in so that you can weather the storm with a glass of wine in hand. So…
“Hello Monsoon Season! Lets make this the best one yet!
Happy Hour at 5?”
I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
– Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)