Angry Soaking Rabbit
Monday 23 September 2013, 9.23am HKT
3.27am local time, Typhoon Signal No. 8, 26°C (78°F), pissing down
WE’RE in the middle of a tropical storm. It’s Force 8 gale outside. Everyone’s supposed to have spent the last 24 hours shatting their pants off. We didn’t. But since the telly’s showing “The Ice Pirates” from 1984, maybe that’s excuse enough to do just that.
Tropical superstorm Usagi (ウサギ ‘rabbit’) around the Taiwan Strait
(Image by NOAA via Time Out Hong Kong)
Actually, ‘super typhoon’ Usagi (OOSA-gee) — the biggest storm system on the face of the Earth for 2013 — veered away from Hong Kong over the night after menacing us for a good part of 24 hours. Southern China took full brunt instead. It was supposed to be the fiercest storm to hit Hong Kong since 1979. I wouldn’t know because I wasn’t in Hong Kong in 1979.
American tourists became instant nervous wrecks and thought the world was ending because news reports kept repeating that Usagi was the size of Hurricane Katrina (true) and the authorities had the airport shut.
morons surfers waited for the predicted 10-metre-high (30 foot) waves to girt our shores when Usagi hit.
The rest of us hit the bottle instead.
Some of us decided instead to take a constructive approach to this super typhoon thing:—
“Do yoga while facing a window because someone once told me sun salutations are the counterpart of a ‘rain dance.’ I’m lying, but, lol.”
— Zee | Whatthefhk.com | 22 SEP 2013
Instead, I’ll just show you some pictures from earlier in the day (Sun, 22 SEP).
You can appreciate why American tourists especially wanted out.
You would too, if you got a faceful of this view when riding the ferry across our Victoria Harbour even hours before Usagi came near.
By 5.30pm, my favourite local cafeteria was nearly cleaned out of food by mainland Chinese tourists and pyramid-scheme operatives.
The only dishes available when I arrived there was the trusty Chinese standby of chop suey and rice, plus watery Chinese soup, tea, coffee, soft drinks and the like.
Bad mofo-looking sky and skycrapers really do give off a zombie apocalyptic feel.
Even more apocalyptic is trying to type the word ‘apocalyptic’ in one go without deleting and retyping.
For a sense of normal human traffic during normal weather, multiply the above by 12 times.
The really nice thing about typhoon time in subtropical Hong Kong is that the chicks wear even shorter hotpants than they do normally.
Unfortunately, the hags and gorgons also wear minimally during this time. Puts you right off sex and food at the same time…
The state of traffic one hour before Typhoon Signal No. 8 was hoist. The view westwards on Hennessy Road in Causeway Bay (which isn’t actually a bay).
Same spot, but view eastwards. Wunderbar, nothing other than public transport.
Same spot again, looking up Sogo (そごう or 崇光), one of our three remaining Japanese department stores.
The other two are Jusco (ジャスコ or 吉之島 correctly pronounced as ‘jasuko’) and Seiyu (西武). There had been six or seven others but they all disappeared from Hong Kong 10 or 15 years ago.
Times Square in Causeway Bay about half an hour before the main storm signal went up.
No, the people you see there are NOT visiting surfers who mistook Causeway Bay for an actual bay and waited for the 10-metre-high breaks or whatever the hell they call those tidal waves.
Out of the lot, I like this picture best, taken on my way to IKEA for a quick snack.
Seemed like everybody else was also heading to IKEA for the same, since practically every other restaurant got cleaned out.
My latest Facebook status update was:—
Do you know why we shouldn’t use the umbrella in a storm?
Broken spokes can poke you in the eye.
And it did happen in real life to a woman in the streets almost the moment Typhoon Signal No. 8 went up.
The winds have been picking up speed all day long. She was fiddling with one of those retractable umbrella jobs and already halfway unfurled. A sudden gust of wind and the damned thing crumbled to pieces in her hands.
And a split-off spoke went straight into her bottom eyelid, but missed her eyeball.
You’d be surprised at the arrow-like ease a bare umbrella spoke can puncture a person.
I rang 999 for the ambulance. She wanted to pull the spoke out herself. Don’t! I told her she could end up pulling out all sorts of nerves and other tissues along with the spoke. Since the wound wasn’t bleeding, just leave it alone and wait for the medics.
Yes, I’m an accidental jedi — someone who routinely does things that would be awesome if it had been intentional. Better than an accidental darth lord, eh?
© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2013. All images by me except as indicated. (B13309)