Editor’s note: Typhoons can be dangerous. Please heed the last line of this post by Gar. Standing along the coast during extreme weather conditions can be hazardous.
The courage it takes to stand out on high ground facing the winds blowing the warm rain into your face with your shirt fluttering behind you in wet flaps against your back is the same as it takes to try to describe the typhoon. It’s all in your face, everything.
It’s weather all around you. Like a dull electric light shine your inner senses as the murky air darkness permeates. Heavy black black black clouds hang about 200 meters over KaiFaQu. The winds blast and blast, but it’s not dangerous. It’s in your face blowing all of the ideas out of your head.
A new kind of religion replaces it; even the thought of naming it takes you away from it.
That’s what a typical typhoon is like in Qingdao. There probably averages one typhoon a year. Sometimes two; sometimes none; but usually one at the beginning of August.
One year, about six or seven years ago, in there were two of them, in the midst of a rain summer like you’d imagine only in India. Rains heavy for virtually 2 weeks straight, In it’s midst were 2 typhoons. One mountain dam overflowed dramatically, diverting a rushing river down a drainage meant for a normal stream.
The water rushed far out of its channel. Stone bridges were destroyed, crashed into the river, and several stream side houses lost exterior walls as the ground beneath was eaten away. The reservoir berms were made higher in subsequent years.
Nevertheless, during the typhoons, everything stops. Work stops. People stock up food for their homes. Most people stay inside in their pajamas watching TV except for those few souls who want to truly be blessed by the heavy spirit of the typhoon. More than for any holiday, work stops, usually once a year, quite like a holiday.
Typhoons are “tropical storms.” This means that they get their start in tropical climates, where peppers and spicy food are in abundance. From nanfang to beifang travelling up the coast they bring to Qingdao warm water in the sky.
You don’t need an umbrella to go out in a Qingdao typhoon.
The rain warms pleasantly warm. Even the wind is warm. It’s emphatically good for you. Doctors (sic) are known to advise their patients to “face the typhoon” and “without an umbrella.” Indeed, many mental illnesses have been cured through this unusual method.
The typhoon rainwater goes rushing down the mountains of Qingdao. Those usually dry-in-the-wintertime stream beds come to life with clear delicious water that just fell from the sky. The numerous dams and pools fill up with this beautiful springlike water. After thousands of years of this, the river rocks are all as smooth as smooth can be.
Swimming (and/or splashing) in this sparklingly clean drinking-quality water barefoot on the slippery-smooth stream bed stones is also reputed to cure many mental illnesses (such as depression, unhappiness, etc.) Such activities commonly improve the “life forces” of the partakers.
It’s good to respect typhoons. If you show them proper deference, they will be good to you.