Thursday, September 13, 2012

Typhool me twice

Macau Tower on Sunday and Tuesday.
I wonder which photo they'll use in the tourism brochure?

If more evidence were needed that I don't learn from my mistakes, the inaugural event of the South China Sea Typhoon Season 2012 caught me by surprise, despite these same meteorological menaces spoiling my travel plans in the Philippines this time last year.

I wasn't the only one to be embarrassingly unprepared for the weather though, as everyone except the nonplussed locals seemed similarly unable to cope with these freak storms arriving precisely on schedule, crowding into doorways, looking around in helpless confusion like a doomed polar bear on a dwindling ice cap and bemoaning the effect this weather was having on their poorly planned holiday, while the fatalities slowly added up.

I wasn't so callously self-absorbed of course, mostly being in Macau because it was the next place along and having already taken most of my tourist photos in my first few days here when, if anything, it was a bit hot and dry. No, I was much more concerned with not being able to access the internet, which already required trips to cafes and government buildings in the city centre several times per day, thanks to my heritage hotel being too Luddite to even have sit-down toilets. How would I survive?

The ubiquitous scooters zipping between Macau's narrow lanes may not be entirely unrelated to the disproportionate number of locals I've seen limping on a gammy leg

It wasn't too bad really, just to destroy any dramatic intrigue. I couldn't really be angry at weather, so I just redirected those feelings to the sodden sods who'd clearly never used umbrellas before, blocking everyone's else's way in the narrow, old streets. I can't have umbrellas, they always confiscate them at the airport out of fear I might open it inside the plane and bring bad luck. That makes more sense than the other possibilities I can come up with, anyway. They should do this in Macau too, until the Macauese have learned to use them properly.

A British person complaining about the weather abroad and disrespecting the locals? What's next, a dog being intrigued by the smell of another dog's arse?

I wouldn't have minded if this was my first typhoon, so I could at least enjoy a new travel experience (see this post for evidence to the contrary), but come on, I've already done this! At least give me a tsunami or volcanic eruption or something. I've even become jaded by earthquakes now, after feeling a couple of disappointingly mild tremors in Japan that I didn't even obsessively blog about, so that tells you how much they didn't impress me.

On the bright side, these recent typhoons were apparently the worst to hit the Hong Kong and Macau region for 13 years, which isn't quite as impressive as last year's Philippines typhoons being the worst for 20 years, but I'll take it. It's nice to think that Asia's at least putting on a show for me, or it could just be more evidence of our planet's steep decline into Armageddon. Same irrational difference.

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