Last year Hato made landfall in the PRD and i was living in a hotel in Shekou. I didn't follow any local media so wasn't caught up in the hype. I went out in the morning for a coffee and somehow timed it perfectly to be sitting in the coffee shop when the glass door blew off its hinges and smashed into a million pieces. That was enough to persuade me to stock up on snacks that didn't need refrigeration and hide in my windowless room for the rest of the day.
I have been well caught up in the Mangkhut hype. The Hong Kong press has been hysterical all week - worst storm ever, bla bla bla. It's already hit Guam and the Philippines and now looks to be heading toward the Guangdong coast, maybe a couple hundred km west of here. So, on Thursday, i did a shopping run to pick up some storm snacks and a 2L bottle of sweet tea. I also did my laundry. Not sure what else i can do since i live several km inland on the 13th floor of a building that's already on a bit of a hill.
My plan was to get some bottled water too, but that failed. Work yesterday left me exhausted, so i decided to head out to the pub. After a few beers near work, i went on a night bike tour. Somehow i ended up in a weird industrial area along the railroad following an old wall covered in street art. I will have to go back during the day sometime because it seemed like a cool spot.
Then, at the end of my tour, i stumbled upon a fucking bar not two blocks from my house!
I mean, it must be new. It has to be new, because i have lived here over 6 months now and it never showed up on my map before. It was blasting EDM on the patio and you could order beers one-at-a-time instead of getting a bucket. I started with a Kronenbourg in a nifty blue bottle and then had a Corona. Ordering was a challenge because the whole menu was in Chinese and used phonetic translations of fancy European brands i probably wouldn't even recognize in their native language. Of course it didn't take long till i was shelling peanuts, playing dice and throwing back Buds.
I was approached by a well put together Jiangsu gentleman who invited me to play darts, but i wanted to stay outside and enjoy the summer night. The table next to me was a much rowdier bunch chattering in Cantonese. They turned out to be a group of real "Samjan" locals out for after work drinks. They taught me how to count in Cantonese. I got incredibly drunk. I forgot how to count in Cantonese.
Anyway, today i was a wreck. At least i wasn't a vomiting wreck, but it's still been a miserable day and i got nothing done. Which means i don't have any bottled water. Fortunately i haven't yet recycled my previous 2L bottle of sweet ice tea, so i am slowly filling that from the kettle this evening.
I think a part of me knew that because of my prep on Thursday i didn't really, really need to go to the store today. Perhaps that's why i let myself have a big night. With a bit of luck i will still be able to go the store tomorrow morning and pick up some other odds and ends. In particular, i am out of moisturizer.
Landfall is tomorrow afternoon, but they say the wind and rain will start around midnight. I already received an emergency broadcast text message urging everyone to shut down their businesses, though i know from last year mainland Chinese are much less likely to heed that warning than Hongkongers. Worst case, at least i have clean underwear and sweet tea. We'll see how bad it is tomorrow.