Last week a mild thunderstorm hit just as I was getting ready for bed. I have always enjoyed the soothing patter (or in this case, the pounding) of rain, so I opened the patio door to take it in. Of course this also let in the sharp sounds of the street traffic, but most of those annoying motorbike drivers were opting to stay home and dry.
These storms are much appreciated at this time of the year as they pass through every few days, fracturing the glassy heat which has encased the city since early April. For a few hours at least, one no longer feels like they are living on the surface of Venus. It’s easier to breathe, and a per-son can cut back on the five-showers-a-day routine.
I’ve heard the locals refer to this the Rainy Season, but for me it’s far too patchy and benign to be worthy of the title. For one thing, the mon-soon deluges — when the water comes down in buckets — are still a good four months off. The rains occurring now are more like half-hour outdoor fresheners, leaving behind blue, scrubbed skies and more bear-able temperatures. Certainly not causing any real discomfort, especially when compared to what the climate of my old home of Seattle offers up each winter.
If the heavy portion of the Rainy Season here in Thailand is a physical assault, the one that invades the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. around mid-to-late October strikes at a person’s psyche. For some five months, thick layers of unending grey clouds roll in from the coast, reducing the sun to a rumor and blurring the landscape in a monotonous drizzle. As an added punishment, the days become brutally shorter: by early December one will be commuting to and from work in partial to total darkness. The holiday cheer is tinged with melancholy. Prozac consumption skyrockets. When, at the far end of the tunnel, the bright days of late spring appear, they greeted with near rapture.