Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

{{ free fish anyone? }}

The day after the typhoon hit, we were left with only one scooter. My dad's scooter, which had been left at his friend's house, had been covered by water. In other words, it needed a visit to the repair shop.

My dad took me around the neighborhood to observe the aftermath of Fanapi. Piles and piles of ruined furniture lined up along narrow streets. Big pipes were seen to pump out water from several houses and underground parking lots. Fallen trees and signs were visible everywhere. It was a depressing sight.

The soldiers were here to help.

During this devastating time, I came across a happier scenery. The fish farms nearby had overflown, which left the fishes out and about! In some parts of my neighborhood where residue of the flood was still apparent, people of different ages were here to catch free fish!

Lost and gain. It's all part of the experience.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

{{ Fanapi: CNN quotes a "monstrous" storm }}

In my memory, my house has only ever been flooded once, and that was before my family immigrated to Canada. I remember coming downstairs to the ground floor and stepping my small foot into the disgusting rainwater with the occasional floating cockroaches that filled up my house. I don't remember much other than that, but today, September 19, 2010, History has replayed itself.

There had been much warning about this particular typhoon because its expected path that runs right through Taiwan entering Hualian from the east and out Taichung in the west is almost identical to that of Typhoon Mulaka, which destroyed much of this beautiful island last summer on August 8th.

The last couple of days were as calm as the scenery from a Monet painting. The sky wasn't bright blue, but if detached from any source of media, a typhoon is the last thing on one's mind. One can be easily deceived by what one sees and what one hears. My mother tells me that the prettier the sky appears to be before the arrival of the typhoon, the more chaotic and dangerous the storm will be.

The center of Typhoon Fanapi (I'm going to find the list of typhoon names...and read it) entered Hualian early this morning. I woke up to find a comfortable breeze coming through the doors and light misty rain drowning the sky. The newscast reported that the central mountain range had altered the path of Tyhpoon Fanapi and it was curving its way down south and expected to cut through Tainan, which is located just above Kaohsiung. This was bad news. This means we are _____ed.

After a couple of hours (including several times staring blankly out the window and door and hoping for something exciting will happen), the wind picked up its speed and the heavy rain started to diagonally attack whatever comes in its way. The metal doors were rattling, the heavy raindrops sounded painful while the vente was whistling so loudly that it sounded like ghosts to the superstitious asian population.

It started to flood out on the street, then in the front of my house, and then at the back in my garden, and then water started to come out of the bathroom drain, then the courtyard drain...filling up my whole ground floor. The brown rainwater was flowing in from my backdoor and out of the drains inside my house at such a fast rate that all I could think of at that moment was "eff.. Q=VA". Thankfully Ryan's head was in the right place so we started unplugging electrical chords, removing things from the floor and clearing out bottom cabinets and drawers. Placing one thing on top of another, my house looked chaotic. The flood wasn't caused by plugging of the drainage system, but an overflow. There must be some way to solve this problem.

Brooms, buckets, rain boots, sandals, "STRUGGLING" cockroachs (hahaha..), blown-off leaves, family mart stickers, etc, we, all drenched in sweat and rainwater, tried to get as much water as we could out of the house. It was a pain in the a** to do because the rain was harder and the wind was stronger.

Upstairs on the 3rd story in my brother's room, the ceiling started leaking. Then it started to leak a lot. It continues to leak right now. Buckets are placed underneath and the towels that are also placed on the ground to absorb water need to be squeezed every 10 minutes. The ceiling is drenched and sagging a little. It might collapse. The noise of the storm is worst on the 3rd floor. It sounds as if the doors are going to get blown off any minute now and it's quite an intimidating experience.

Right now I can still hear the wind but am scared to open the bedroom door. The rain and wind should die down soon (I hope) but the entire storm won't leave Taiwan until tomorrow around noon. The worst is over but I hope my goddamn ceiling won't collapse.