Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying…

TYPHOON!!! DUH DUH DUH…..DUH DUH!!! RUN! RUN! RU…. Oh. Wait. It missed. Never mind.

The above paragraph is pretty much what most of the typhoons here are like. My roommate Fox (his real name is Stephen, he’s from Canada, it’s a long story, I’ll tell you later) is always looking forward to a day off, so whenever a typhoon looks imminent, he always gets his hopes up. We had a few days off last year, but so far, Taipei hasn’t gotten hit this year. Personally, I don’t like typhoons. They’re interesting as a natural phenomenon, but I would prefer them to go somewhere else. For one thing, I’m paid by the hour. So, if school is cancelled, Ben’s paycheck goes down. For another, typhoons (from Chinese: 颱風 tai-feng: lit. “typhoon wind”. Yes, it’s recursive. Shut up, you.) are very windy (duh), which makes it a screaming pain in the hindquarters to drive my scooter. So far, we’ve had two come through here this summer: Tropical Storm Bilis and Typhoon Kaemi. Interestingly, as far as I know, the Chinese don’t differentiate between tropical storms and typhoons like we do. I haven’t been able to find a word for tropical storm that’s different from 颱風. Anyway, when Bilis came through, I called my boss to see if we were still having classes. He said yes, so I said I’d come in. I didn’t want to drive my scooter, so I took my umbrella and went out to the bus. After about ten minutes, a gust of wind broke my umbrella, spun me around and pushed me into a building. At this point I called my boss and told him that I was taking the day off. I thought that if it was that strong already, it would only be stronger when I got off work, and I wasn’t looking forward to that.

As it turned out, that was the worst of the storm to hit Taipei. By evening, when I would have been leaving work, the sky was blue and clear. Ah, irony.

Typhoon Kaemi was an even bigger disappointment (to my roommate, not to me) and managed to miss Taipei completely, passing to the south.

There’s an advantage to having a typhoon come through, though. The weather after a typhoon is always cooler and less humid. Thank goodness for small favors, eh?

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6 Responses to “Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying…”

  1. Bill Says:

    “…[Young] prepared for the storm’s arrival — prepared that is to enjoy it, and savor every destructive impulse. Young was a member of that class of mostly landlocked men who believed God put storms on earth expressly for their entertainment.”
    Erik Larson, “Isaac’s Storm” (about the 1906 Galveston Hurricane which took @ 8,000 lives. Young’s house was destroyed with him in it but he survived.)

  2. Ben Says:

    I am not in that class, possibly because Taiwan is not, by any stretch of the word, a landlocked nation.

  3. Sabrina Says:

    Random thought:

    The title of your blog “Ben Goes to Taiwan” sounds like the title for a children’s book.

  4. Ben Says:

    Sort of appropriate for my job, then, eh?

  5. Lynn Says:

    Actually, there is a name for tropical storms. 熱帶低氣壓. i think.

  6. taiwanben Says:

    Hmmm, interesting. I haven’t heard it used in common speech here, though, not that this necessarily proves anything, since I may just not have been paying attention. 🙂

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