Monday, October 5, 2009

And So The City Floods...

I am in ankle-deep, murky-brown water as I exit from the Education building this afternoon. Young boys and girls are giggling and rolling up their pants, then trudging down the steps and sloshing across the flooded walkway.

There is water everywhere.

I get a text from Christine:

"Our place is flooded...are the roads okay?"

I am nervous to find out.

Sweetly, one of my students has offered to drive me home, as he knows I usually walk/take a motorbike taxi, or "xe om." I wait for him at the entrance of the motorbike "garage" - it's really just a reserved space for students to house their bikes, encompassed by a circus-sized tent.

When I hop on the back, looking ridiculous in his spare over-sized poncho and the too-small-helmet for my head, he veers right. A man behind us screams "Ay, ay ay!" but before I have enough time to fully turn my head around and grill him, I am slowly falling off the bike.

Boom. Hit the ground.

My student has absentmindedly forgotten that there is a 10-by-15 foot closed-off area, connected by a thin rope and traffic cones, at the entrace of the garage. And we have crashed right into it.

He looks mortified as I not only lift myself upright off the ground but him and his bike as well. I throw the rope over his head so we can continue our journey, hopefully unscathed.

"Teacha, I am so sorry! I'm so embarassed!", says Mighty (which is the literal English translation of his Vietnamese name.)

I laugh at him and tell him that I involuntarily fall all the time. He doesn't laugh, though. His cheeks glow bright red the whole way home.

The roads are a nightmare. Buses and motorbikes and bicycles alike are all submerged in the dirty water, but the drivers harbor no expression of surprise or annoyment on their faces.

Just another day in the rainy season, I suppose?

When I see the walkway entrance of my house, I'm laughing. This is ridiculous. You can't even see the sidewalk. And the water has seeped under our door...

Thankfully, no damage was done. But our tile floor is three inches below surface level right now. And there are worms and spiders and other gross things floating around, upheaved from their secret hiding spaces in the nooks and crannies of our lovely home.

Typhoon season is undoubtedly upon us.

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