The Rain

Sorry, no exotic misleading title today.  This is about the rain, plain, simple, and wet.

It rained yesterday.  Started at 5:40am and ended around 7:00, also A.M.  That was the first significant rain in the last 4 months–we had a strong shower  around March 8–and it washed the  city’s dust, garbage, and piss covered walls clean for the first time last November’s last rain.  This ended the dry season and officially introduced the 2013 Spring/Summer/Fall rainy season here in HCMC.

Today, so far, the rain has come in the form of severe humidity. This feels like you are breathing in a thin broth of soupy air.  If you believe that humidity cannot exceed 100% without actual precipitation, well, come here and you will see that it can.

When it gets this bad I think of my friend David S. who hates humidity worse than major snowfall, rain, or dark of night.  That makes it tolerable because I think of my friend and just thinking of him makes me feel good.  Friends like that are rare and I am blessed with having ten more like him.

But back to the rain.  Or Humidity. Or both.  Even the Vietnamese are complaining, and that eases my guilt feelings about bitching how hot and humid it is.  KL just returned from breakfast and her first words were “Terrible Hot!”  When she is upset, her grammar is discarded and brevity and volume replace proper English, a fact that I ignore in order to maintain some semblance of peace in our home.

So, we did our walk nearly an hour earlier than we had been going in February–leaving the house at 05:45 to try to beat the sun and heat and possible rain.  There was no rain (not yet anyway), we did beat the sun, but the heat and debilitating humidity wiped us out.  What used to be 5 or 6 rounds of the stadium has decayed to one, and that with a pause for some stretches and some arm exercises.  I just can’t do more.  I can’t breathe this humid air and even KL says one round is enough (this from the woman who RAN up the 153 steps of Marble Mountain ), so she grabs a small bowl of soy curd with ginger syrup while I stop to do some stretches and push-ups on a nearby railing.

In previous years the temp has been 4 or 5 degrees F   lower, and when you are starting from 93F those few added degrees DO make a difference–especially when the humidity has thickened the air.  Perhaps the years of smoking HAVE made a difference, despite the fact that I quit 25 years ago.  The one hope is that, like in previous years the rain will not only wash the streets but will also pull the humidity out of the air.

When my daughter visited around the first of the year, we went North to Hoi An, Hue, and Hanoi.  The weather was the opposite of HCMC–chilly, rainy, and altogether comfortable.  If I could convince KL to live in Hanoi during the winter, I wouldn’t feel like I was trying to breathe with my head stuck in a plastic bag.

Not much chance of THAT!

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