Trip Start Sep 15, 2007
Trip End Nov 14, 2007

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Flag of Japan  ,
Monday, October 1, 2007

Just a short comment on the weather. Today's a nice day, so it feels a bit weird to be writing about rain, but it rained the last two days and is forecast for tomorrow as well. I'm doing laundry so I can hang it out on the balcony. Although we, and I believe most people here, have a dryer, they typically hang clothes outside, I'm guessing because of the high cost of electricity and gas. Especially on nice days, every balcony will be laden with clothes drying.

It seems to rain here a lot ... at least to us, coming from New Mexico. I'd guess it has rained about 1/3 of the time since we got here, is cloudy another 1/3+, and is semi-clear maybe 1/4 of the time. The thing is, this is the nicest time of year!  There's obviously a reason it's so green here. The weather hasn't been terrible and we've had some gorgeous days, but we're not quite used to it. I'm sure we'll get plenty of rain, heat, & humidity (which I'm not looking forward to - especially the mosquitoes that go along with it) in SE Asia.
This rain is different than that at home, where we get sudden downpours, along with wind, thunder, and lighting, and then it clears up and the sun comes out. Here it can (and has several times since we've been here) rained steadily all day. It's been a challenge for me, as I grew up in the desert of southern New Mexico (9" precip/yr) and am incredibly "umbrella challenged." Bernd, who grew up with Hamburger Nieselregen in Germany, always teases me about my battles with umbrellas. I'm getting plenty of practice here, though. I'll come home a real pro.
Here, everybody uses umbrellas - really huge ones, sometimes see-through that come further down around your shoulders. They provide umbrellas at most public buildings - you just take one from the rack in front of the building. And one of my favorite scenes is the bicycle riders with umbrellas!
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