Taiwan – a small rainy island in the north Pacific – has some similarities to the UK – a small rainy island in the north Atlantic.
In the UK, April brings with it that marvellously mischevious weather where it is impossible to guess the required clothing from ten minutes to the next. Taiwan displays a similar phenomenon, but the time period is rather two days.
The result is 48 hours of unbroken torrential downpour. I swear the droplets strike with a force that cannot be explained by gravity alone and seem able to bounce upon hitting the ground, rendering any wet weather gear useless fairly quickly.
The following 48 hours’ sunshine brings with it astonishing levels of humidity, the likes of which can only be repeated by sitting in a swimming pool without any clothes on. To clarify, you are going to sweat.
Taiwanese taxi drivers and convenience store owners enjoy displaying The Awesome Power of Air Conditioning the moment you enter their icy world. To clarify, you are going to shivering.
I just returned home after riding through a particularly vigorous downfall and even though I was wearing the standard-issue kagool I obviously got soaked. I quickly ran out of my apartment and hung up my trousers to drip dry, and heard the ominous sound of a door clicking shut that only sounds like that when you are standing in your underpants.
A couple of moments of quiet reflection later, and I ran across the mini garden (socks now soaked) and down to the landlord downstairs. Thankfully, the entire family was in so they could all see the crazy wet white guy standing in his underpants, rain water especially gathering around my crotch I later realised.
A hard week at work, and all I could really do was laugh!