Wednesday, July 9, 2014

But open for business here: Typhoon makes landfall on Kyushu; 3 dead so far

Typhoon makes landfall on Kyushu; 3 dead so far

The typhoon has been the major news story since yesterday.  Here, probably 12 or so hours ahead of the arrival of a weakened form of this storm, we're open for business.  The staff are making plans for sending the kids home early if it comes to that, but we probably won't see any bad weather until late tonight.  But this is what I'm gathering with my smattering of office Japanese.

Typhoon days here are like snow days back home.  For the kids, they can be a joy.  For adults, a misery.  Many offices and businesses will remain open, meaning extra-long and extra-difficult commutes in the morning and evening.  Tomorrow will find broken convenience store umbrellas, the clear plastic cheapies, lying on the sidewalks like dead fish on the beach after a storm at sea.  I'm pretty lucky in that even if the weather hits earlier than I expect, I only have a 5 minute walk back to our apartment. 

Even with high winds whipping my umbrella back and forth and leaving my biceps sore from the fight-- I beat nature with a TKO fifty-one seconds into the third round-- at least I don't have to drive or take a bus or train.  Bus and train service may be delayed or even cancelled outright and even if they're not, everyone will be packed in with the extra bulk of raincoats and umbrellas.  It will be extra oppressively hot and humid and your wet clothes will cling to your clammy body like a monstrous leech out of a sci-fi-horror flick.  I've actually commuted to work on a bicycle in typhoons, way back before the city passed a "no umbrellas while riding bikes" law, complete with hefty fine.

Not that an umbrella does much good in a gale, when the wind blows the rain horizontally or even upwards into your face at times.  Muscling a bike against the wind with an umbrella acting like a sail or a wing threatening to take you airborne is yet another great cardiovascular workout that also shapes and tones your muscles.  You end up wet not only from the rain but also from slimy sweat for a regular "oil and water" coating guaranteed to leave you feeling slimy and in need of a shower or a long soak in a cold pool somewhere far from the city.

My poor wife may have to drive in it!  I'm going to be constantly checking the front door until she gets home.

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