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Why i should never plan
singapore sunset
So it looks like we are going to take a glancing blow from super typhoon Mangkhut.

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.

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Clean undies and sweet tea? You sound like you could be a Texan waiting for a storm coming in from the gulf. Right now, our news is freaking out about the storm coming into the Carolinas from the Atlantic. I live all the way on the other side of the country, but from the news, you'd think I lived right there. I saw one picture and a sentence in my local paper about Mangkhut.

I hope your ride it out all right with minimal issues. I forgot that you can't drink tap water in China.

Seems ridiculous when living next to the large reservoirs that supply both cites. We never drank it in Hong Kong either. The British expats used to boil it and then store it in the fridge in convenient recycled bottles, sometimes gin bottles. This once led to me being given a huge glass of gin once when I was about 7 years old, by mistake. Haha. I refused to drink it.


One of the the popular China vloggers brought his Chinese wife to visit his family in New York, and she freaked out at the notion of drinking tap water even in the states. I wonder how much of it is safety, and how much is just cultural.

Safety mainly I suppose. Tropical climate plus no-democracy is never good for water standards. I remember going to Moscow in the communist era and we were told not to drink the water there either.

I also wonder this. It wasn't all that long ago when the majority of Chinese lived in rural villages with little to no infrastructure. In those places - even today - all water has to be boiled and all vegetables have to be cooked. It's possible that mindset followed the people as they urbanized, and now it's applied even in new/clean developments where it's not strictly necessary.

On a side note, it's not that uncommon for people in the west to also see tap water as untrustworthy. There's a whole industry of bottled water and wacky filtration/purification contraptions that should not need to exist in first world countries but do anyway. Stories like Flint don't do much to inspire confidence, I guess.

True, I drink from the tap, but a lot of people in my city act offended if I offer them tap water. Our water basically comes from melting glaciers in the Cascade and Olympic mountains. It doesn't really get any cleaner. Yeah, the pipes are more worrisome than the source, but our water isn't as corrosive as other cities. That's what happened in Flint. They were fine until they change the water source to something more corrosive.

the only reason i've heard of mangkhut at all is that i saw a post on tumblr, of the "why aren't you talking about this thing that's important to me?" variety. the news here is full of hurricane florence, currently trying to drown the carolina coasts.

thursday!you clearly knew what she was doing. i mean, you don't have bottled water but you still have sweet tea and snacks and clean undies. hopefully mother nature won't smack you too hard.

edited to add that mural is really cool.

Edited at 2018-09-16 03:27 am (UTC)

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