Wednesday the 23rd of July 2014
It’s 14:44PM as I write this; I’ve got my Baisemain Playlist on as the wind howls outside my window. The Andrew Sisters go quite well when combined with heavy rain. I have actually been outside today, I ate crisps and cake for dinner yesterday due to it being my birthday and although I had probably eaten enough (sweets) this morning, I decided to get myself something from McDonald’s. I put on my Hunter wellies and my waterproof jacket, pulled the hood tight so only my glasses were visible and headed outside. The wind had died down (in comparison to the early hours of the morning) temporarily but the rain was still coming down as hard as ever. The woman who served me couldn’t stop staring at me; everyone else had clearly travelled by car. I’ve lived in North West England; I can handle a bit of rain (I say during a typhoon). Before getting to McDonald’s (which is at the bottom of my road), I decided to take a detour towards the rice fields to see what it looked like during a storm. I didn’t have a camera but I wasn’t disappointed. I stood for a little while and watched the wind rip through the vegetation.
I turned twenty four yesterday. I feel old. Last night, I finished work and having planned all of my lessons, I packed up my stuff to leave. I looked around the teacher’s room and on not seeing my colleague’s bags; I presumed they had gone home.
I was told that I wasn’t able to leave as the government hadn’t released the typhoon information yet. So, I helped lock windows to prepare for Typhoon Matmo. It turns out the other teachers had been hiding the whole time! I was so surprised, I was holding back tears. It was so lovely. I wore a party hat and bow my friend and fellow teacher bought me, it’s a bow with a bow on it, bowception, you can’t get more Taiwanese than that! She also got me Adventure Time chopsticks (it’s my favourite), a yellow duck iPad headphone plug, LINE friends post it notes, candy and a fabulous card signed by everyone. It was the second surprise birthday cake of the day as one of my students had brought one in for me; the same student also bought me a Jake the Dog from Adventure Time dog for me! We ate crisps, cake, candy and jelly; we drank cola and played party games whilst still making sure to use all of the target language I’d planned for that lesson (which coincidentally revolved around the theme of celebrations)! They made an absolute mess of the classroom with confetti but it was wonderful none the less.
Here’s a little more information on the typhoon, it barrelled through Taiwan and is now moving West towards mainland China. One person has died and one missing due to the storm, however this is minimal when compared to other countries (Super Typhoon Rammasun wrecked the Philippines last week killing over one hundred people). ‘Flash flooding, mudslides, damaging wind gusts and storm surge flooding expected Taiwan impacts. Eastern China will be affected Wednesday night into Thursday.’ Luckily my apartment didn’t flood and I was told to make sure I had water and supplies in my room in case of emergencies. All schools and businesses are closed with the exception of certain fast food places, such as McDonald’s which opened earlier. 67 flights to and from Taiwan airports had been cancelled and my bike was whipped up and crashed into the ground… I picked up my bike and moved it to what I felt like might be a more secure location against the wind. It’s not even 16:00PM yet and it is really quite dark outside. A number of people are without electricity on the island but luckily I’m not one of them!