Sunday, November 2, 2008


It rained all night Thursday night, and it was still raining Friday when I got up to go teach my first class. On the way there, I got to a main intersection that was flooding pretty badly. The streets to the right and left were flooded out too, so I eventually decided to just go through the water. It was over the tailpipe, but I managed to get through.

I like this shot because you can see the traffic cop, in the raincoat and helmet, in the center of all the mayhem just waving everyone into the water.
Two brave students came to class, so I didn't go all the way down there for nothing. The trouble was getting back. It hadn't let up at all during class, and when I got back to that intersection again the water was up to the seats of most motorbikes.
I stopped for a while and just watched as person after person rode their bike into the water...
...looked surprised when the engine died in the water, and pushed their bike out the other side.
Cars and trucks were having the same problem by now because the water was above hood level. There were dozens of bikes on either side of the water with people waiting for one of the "mechanics" (any guy with some hand tools) to dry off their spark plug and help them out.
I actually saw a couple of guys with their bikes up on the center stand on the curbs and tilting them back to pour the water out of the tailpipe. As it turns out, engines won't run under water. A lot of people seemed to think that their engine would be the exception, but I wasn't one of these people. I went back to the school, waited a few hours, and tried again - still flooded. I eventually parked at the school and walked home, wading through mid-thigh deep water, along the way.
And the rain kept coming. Classes were cancelled. The office staff in the house where I'm staying had trouble getting home and one person stayed overnight. It rained more-or-less all weekend. the office didn't open Saturday morning. A friend of mine had her house flood and advised me to buy food, which I did. According to news reports 18 people in the city died. Even this morning I had to walk and wade again, but I managed to find a way to ride back and I've got my bike home. The worst of it seems to be over and I shoudn't have to do anymore wading.

On the plus side it's nice and cool here now. It should be getting down into the 60's at night. The locals have started talking about how cold it is, which makes me chuckle every time I hear it.

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