So what is it like to live in a country with rainy season? (especially for an expat. who lived in the driest State on the driest Continent!)
- The rain is REALLY impressive. It is like someone is upending a bucket for sometimes hours on end. No light sprinkling here. I think the expression is ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’.
- We wish we had a car (a moto is a challenge on the best of days)because getting soaked isn’t fun.
- We are grateful that when we are soaked we come home to a dry house and a shower. Many of our dear neighbours do not have either of these luxuries. We have a whole new appreciation for town planning, gutters and storm water drains….. which are still noticeably absent in so many of the outskirt areas of Phnom Penh.
- We are grateful that when our Borey was built some thought was given to these things. School staff living in another area quite close to school (an area considered somewhat more upmarket than ours) quite literally need to wade through water knee deep (or wear their gum boots) on afternoons after the down pour. And it’s NOT pleasant as it collects all refuse and sewage.
- Initially we were making decisions to ‘not go out’. We’ve now realised that, short of becoming house bound, this simply isn’t an option. Instead, we don the rain gear (my 2000 riel Poncho (69c Aus) has served me well) and get on the bike!! Just occasionally we book a Passapp – the local Uber like tuk tuk option …. but chances are we’ll still end up pretty wet.
- The road to school is even more treacherous. During the dry season it is a dirt road full of pot holes, made worse by the cement trucks that use it as a cut through. During the wet season it is now muddy and full of pot holes…. which, after about half an hour of rain, become invisible. This meant that one morning we were part way to school when David hit an unexpected ‘hole’ and in one of those ‘slow motion but not slow enough to do anything about it’ moments we both ended up in the mud. On many other days we arrive at school with a liberal muddy decoration as passing vehicles are no respecter of those who are walking or on bikes. Two classic quotes from recent visitors: A visiting book rep., an older lady, arrives and says ‘your undercarriage certainly needs to be intact to manage that road’, and a visiting girlfriend from Canberra tells me ‘You should have mentioned that I need to wear my sports bra when I come to visit your school’.
- My walking to school days are over for now. I can’t jump puddles as big as the ones on the road. Some days a boat would be a better option!
- I’m not sure of the origin of the expression ‘like a drowned rat’, but the rain brings out the live ones, and we seem to have to clean up the dead ones more often. Thankfully, the closest they have come to our house is in the front entrance area; none inside to date.
- The level of the nearby affectionately named ‘black stream’ rises and, with the higher levels, the fish and crabs ‘plop’ out on the road. David’s theory is that they’re using it as their chance to escape, but of course, they just become a more readily available dinner for someone!!
Mercifully the rain brings the temperature down somewhat. It is actually quite nice opening the window and using the fan to draw the air in.
As this is our first year, we are still not sure how long this season lasts but most tell us it could rain through until the end of October. Like the quote says ‘life is not about waiting for the storm to pass….. it’s about learning to dance in the rain’.
Here’s to the Flights learning to dance!
Secondary School Principal – HOPE School