Everything counts in small amounts

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Talim in Taipei

I'm experiencing my first typhoon tonight. Talim is forecast to make landfall off the east coast of Taiwan early tomorrow morning. It's already rainy heavily and the wind is gusting. I'm safely inside, but the buzz of rain hitting the building is constantly in the background. Talim is a category 4 (out of 5) typhoon. At its worst, it is supposed to produce gusts up to 141 mph (184 kph). Everyone is off tomorrow. I don't go to school, Jiyeoun's classes are canceled, and Ceilo and Mrs. Lu don't work.

It's like a snow day in North America. Everyone sat around work prying for a "typhoon day", passing on the latest bit of news, and discussing what they'll do if school is cancelled. The announcement came in around 2 p.m. that public schools were closing at four and a few people cheered because they wouldn't have to teach their evening classes. Jiyeoun met me at work after her school orientation and we traveled home together on the metro. It was packed with school children and government workers trying to beat the storm home. The mood was festive and calm.

When I left this afternoon, my coworkers were debating whither we will get Friday off as well. Talim's eye is predicted to pass just north-east of Taipei by tomorrow morning and move off the western cost of Taiwan by the evening. But as with all typoons, no one really knows. I wouldn't mind a four-day weekend even if two of the days were spent indoors. It says in my contract typhoon days are paid. I'll take the money and donate it to the victims of hurricane Katrina. I hope you will too. Ironic, donating money gained from a typhoon to help victims of a hurricane. Such is life.


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