New Delhi, Weather from Weather Underground

Thursday, September 2, 2010

when it rains, it pours

Starting at the end of June, people kept warning us "the rains are coming." Day in day out of sunny, cloudless skies and hot, hot temps. I actually started wishing for rain to break up the heat. Then the rumors, followed by photos of rain in the south. This should mean it is coming to us. Alas, the rain stalled somewhere and then blew out to sea. All the malls were having "Monsoon Sales" that are a strong rival to "Back to School Sales" in the US. Being new to India, the idea of Monsoon is exciting and a little nerve wracking at the same time. Exactly how much rain will fall? Will we be stuck inside for days? Rachel was full of questions also. Can we swim to our friends house when it rains? What if our house floods? Friends who have been here for some time said, "Keep umbrellas, boots, old flip flops, and towels in your car." "Have snacks and extra water in case you get stuck for awhile." Again this added to the mixed emotions of apprehension and excitement. Finally sometime after the first of August it started. It doesn't rain 24/7 as I had been led to believe. But when it rains, it pours. I have never seen rain come down so fast, so hard, and in such large drops. The drainage and sewage systems here are poorly built which leads to areas of flooding in mere minutes. It has rained off and on for about two weeks in spurts of 20 minutes to three or four hours. I can now say I have experienced the monsoon.

These photos are from August 21 which is also the day we moved out of the hotel. As we loaded up the last of our suitcases and random items we had acquired during eleven weeks in the hotel, it started to rain. What is normally a 20 minute drive on a Saturday afternoon took us almost three hours. The larger SUVs and trucks that sped by us left our mini-van rocking in their wake. Dan was sitting in the front and could see the waves coming up over the hood. The girls were squealing with delight at driving through the floods. I was wondering what would happen if we stalled out since the water was too deep to get the doors open and where would we have gone in the pouring rain anyway. Obviously, we made it safe and sound and now have a very cool monsoon story to share. I think everyone in India has at least one of the stories in their repertoire.

Above is a tuk-tuk or three-wheeled open sided taxi. The driver was using a two liter bottle to scoop water out of his vehicle.

He eventually gave up and walked away to higher ground.

This woman was just pedaling along and probably making better progress than many of the motor vehicles on the roadway.

The step from the road up to the sidewalk is about three feet.

Slosh, slosh, rock, rock went our van as a truck went past making all these waves. At this point we were about a ten minute walk from our house, but it took us 25 minutes to drive it. One more adventure checked off my list of things to do while in India.

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