Monday, February 06, 2006

Wetter & wilder in downtown Apia

It's been almost two weeks since the rain started and it shows no sign of stopping any time soon. Whereas last week the road outside work flooded and necessitated some careful navigation to make it to the office, today it's work that has flooded. Thankfully we're on the second floor of the building, so the impact is very minor, but it is a decent measure of how much more water there is this time than last.

The street has turned into a small waterway; it's almost like a Polynesian Venice without any of the good stuff like gondolas. Men and women alike are hiking their skirts up around the tops of their thighs as they make their way down the street. As the occasional car or bus slowly creeps down the street, people scurry to the sides of the street to avoid being swamped by the waves that follow.

Mind you, this doesn't always guarantee safety, as the cars themselves are frequently forced to cling to the sides of the roads. All the rain has led to the appearance of countless potholes all over town. Resealing the roads has had little effect in dealing with the problem.

Looking at the satellite image is a Groundhog Day-esque experience. Sure the clouds change colours a little bit and give the impression that they've moved around a bit, but really at the end of the day it's the same large blob of dense cloud over the small outline of Samoa. I'm starting to forget what the sun looks like. I'm assured by my Samoan colleagues that this amount of bad weather, over such a long period, is very unusual, even for the wet season. A neighbour's water gauge shows 1400mm of rain has fallen since the beginning of the calendar year, with 600mm falling in the last six days alone.

When the sun does finally show its face again there'll be much celebration. I'll be able to sleep on a bed that isn't damp with all the moisture in the air. I'll be able to wear clothes that don't smell mouldy. I'll be able to come and go from my home without having to navigate a bog. Wash myself in water that isn't brown. You know, the little things in life.


natalie said...

I always wanted to live in Venice...

jt said...

Brian at Sydneyside offered me his sandwich board as a makeshift raft this morning. If this continues I might have to take him up on the offer.

Incontinentia Buttocks said...

So are you still alive, or have you drowned?