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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Electric Storm

Today was an awesome day for weather in Shanghai.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, the air was utterly palpable. Although it wasn't raining - yet - the sky was making scary rumbling noises. Then I heard an amazingly sharp CRACK! outside my window. Lightning had struck very close by, causing car alarms around the neighborhood to reel. As I reached to unplug my laptop, I felt an intense electrically charged pressure, making me wonder what being struck by lightning would be like.

I quickly grabbed my keys & headed out to work, hoping to make the five-minute walk before the heavens started pouring out the rain. I nervously descended 22 floors in a metal elevator. Just outside the front door of my apartment building, huge drops of rain thwapted against the pavement. I could almost walk between them, they were so far apart. 50 feet away from the door, no rain was falling as a dry wind whooshed past me. The air pressure was intense.

I walked briskly down the street, eyeing the revolving door at the entrance to the mall. I was sure I would make it. I only had to cross the street & I would be safely inside. Just then a wall of water crashed down in front of me, blocking my way to shelter.

I ducked into a noodle shop for cover, & stood at the window, watching the rain spray the street & passers by for a solid 15 minutes. Eventually, it eased enough for me to make a dash across the street. I arrived to work only slightly soaked. For the rest of the day, all anyone could talk about was the weather.

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