Me and Chairman Mao
  Under the weather.
Hey, did you know that a typhoon--Typhoon Matsa--hit Shanghai on Friday? Neither did I. Well, not at first. See, for the past few days our satellite TV system hasn't been working, ergo I haven't been watching TV (side ergo, I totally missed Rockstar: INXS--don’t judge!--which was a complete bummer), ergo I haven't been watching CNN, ergo I haven't been paying any attention to the Shanghai weather forecast since every freaking day is hot and humid and what's the point of confirming that?, ergo I had no idea there was a huge storm heading our way. Really, you wouldn't think that a gigantic atmospheric event that had already rampaged through (the Renegade Province of) Taiwan could sneak up on you, but apparently it can happen. And I have photographic proof, courtesy of the Weather Channel.

So short story long, I found out Friday evening that a typhoon was going to hit the city Friday night. Nothing like advanced warning. I mean, sure, it was a little windy on Friday, and the clouds looked vaguely threatening, but that was it--I hadn't prepared at all. So of course as soon as I found out I started to stock up on food: I went right to my cell phone and had a lot--almost three meals worth--of Indian food delivered from a place two or three miles away because why should I go out to get food and risk being killed by a falling, windblown object when I can pay someone three dollars to do it for me? Obviously I wouldn't.

But it turned out that, Friday night at least, things weren't so bad. Well, not for me, eating my Indian food and playing Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory in the safety of my apartment. However, things were a little worse for Holly and Neil, another Microsoft person, who were on their way back from Beijing on a plane Friday night and flying into--you guessed it--the typhoon! Exciting, don't you think? It certainly sounds like it was, since at one point when they were coming into the Shanghai airport they were both apparently convinced that the plane would definitely land on its side. But of course it didn't and they got in okay, and about fifteen minutes later they closed both Shanghai airports for the next 36 hours or so. Doesn't that sound like just the best time ever? Personally, I think my night was better, but maybe that's just me.

Either way, the full force of the typhoon didn't really hit until Saturday night, "full force" in this case meaning it rained really hard and was really windy. In fact, it was so windy that the rain kept waking me up: it sounded like someone had turned a hose on full-blast and was spraying it against our window all night, which, as it turns out, it not really a sleep-inducing sound: rain gently pitter-pattering in your ear at night, soothing; torrents of water crashing with "can rain break glass?" force against your window at night, not soothing. Just in case there was any confusion about that.

Anyway, we obviously survived okay and, as far as I know, so did the guy who delivered the Indian food, although he did look a little harried last time I saw him, so who knows? But l like to think that he did ...

At any rate, here are some more random pictures I took during TYPHOON '05!

One of the gate guards on Saturday night. (It's blurry because it was raining that hard.) I bet right at that moment he was thinking that he should have paid more attention in school.

Looking out our window, before the rain really started coming down. Looks like we need new windshield wipers.

Sunday morning: "Honey, do you know why the satellite's not working?"

This is a park by our house. Obviously, some of the trees did not fare so well. You can't tell, but left side of the picture is supposed to be a sidewalk, truly it is. Or should I say--wait for it--TREE-ly. Ha!

Tree dominos! The Lorax would not be happy, not happy at all ...

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