We had one of the first big summer storms here in Brisbane yesterday. I was at work at the time, and as I looked outside at the huge sudden downpour of rain, instantly cooling down the hot and humid day, I felt a little “home sick” for Southeast Asia. I was reminded of travelling through Southeast Asia during the rainy season, where it is common in the late afternoon to have a sudden downpour that lasts for maybe an hour. It is the sort of rain that drenches you in seconds; it is literally like having a bucket of water tipped on you.
The rain brought back a memory from my time in Battambang, Cambodia. We were just leaving our guesthouse, about to head out to dinner, when out of nowhere a huge downpour of torrential rain just fell out of the sky, flooding the streets almost instantly and catching everyone by surprise. Everyone on the street just had to take shelter where ever they could. Even the local tuk tuk drivers, who seemed to always be there asking us for rides at anytime of the day, were staying out of business for the time being, sheltering in their tuk tuks or the nearest shopfront.
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For kids, the streets had become a temporary water park where they could float sticks down the street or ride their bikes along the newly formed rivers. For others, it was a good time to just take a break or have a nap. The town had pretty much stopped, just for a brief moment.
After about half an hour the rain had stopped and everyone could get on with their day, as if nothing had even happened. I have the feeling that this summer I’m going to have a few of these reminiscent moments.