Wednesday, March 9, 2011

No problem with the rain

Being in tropical area of the World, Indonesia has two seasons, hot one and little bit less hot but still hot one. Hot one is really hot with sun frying all day long and humidity is quite high so you get completely wet even the sun if burning your skin. When the little bit less hot season, but still hot season comes the rain starts. This season is well known as the rainy season and as people told us the rain should be falling for 3 or 4 days constantly. The thing is that climate changes affect Indonesia as well and rain is, luckily, falling just couple of hours a day and not every day. You would probably ask why I say luckily. Well, Indonesia has this perfect drain and sewer system NOT!!! Surabaya has small or big canals all around the city and when the rain starts those canals get full of water and sometimes go flooded. The thing is that those canals represent some kind of sewer system so basically when they go out you are walking or driving in the loads of crap and streets smell really bad. During the hot season streets smell bad because the sun is heating up the canals and during the rainy season because they go out. Anyhow, our University is in the street with a big canal so when it rains we have this special lung treatment, a breath of fresh air and when we get to uni all we want to do is puke and get our feet to the toxic waste cleaners! There are some streets in the city which are completely flooded and you can't get trough them when it rains. When it stops raining all that water disappears in 5 minutes and that I still didn't figure out that well. Probably the canals take that water to the sea or the soil is absorbing the water really fast but when it rains it rains so hard that soil can't pick it all up.
The thing is that when it rains in Europe everybody gets nervous or they just stay at home and don't go anywhere and usually they curse the rain. In Indonesia, rain is quite normal thing and life is going perfectly normal when the rain is falling, in other world, there is no problem with the rain. One of the most important things you have to have in your motorbike is rain coat. You just stop next to the road, put it on and continue driving. Indonesians who don't have rain coat will just stop next to the road and wait for the rain to stop or just to gets lighter. No problem, they have all the time in the world and they can wait for hours for rain to stop. Maybe for some of them buying a rain coat is too expensive or they just think they don't need it.
The thing that I like with the rain is that everybody drives extra carefully. Usually Indonesians are not good drivers and many of them told me that they just went to the police station and paid up a bit more and got their drivers license without taking any test or driving lessons. The motorbike drivers don't use their review mirrors, usually those mirrors are broken or too small and not really adjusted for usage. They just pay attention about who is in front of them and which way are they driving. They never pay attention about someone behind. When you get your rain coat on there is not much of a use of review mirrors so you really need to be extra careful.
Car drivers are absolutely amazing, they just drive like there is devil chasseing them and they like pressing their horns even if you are not in their way. Now I got used to that but when I started driving that was absolutely terrible. Here no one will let you get into the traffic and there are always people on the streets playing traffic police on every corner when there is a lot of traffic and that is the way they earn money. They stop the traffic for you, you get into the line and you give them some small money.
Anyhow, I had to get used to being completely wet, to drive during the rain, to get splashed once in a while, to enjoy my time in the beach during the rain, to pack my driver license, my wallet and my cell phone in small plastic bags, to drive without my glasses during the rain, to drive with rain coat, to waste my time waiting until the rain stops when I forget my rain coat or just buy another one sice they are selling on every step and of course… I had to realize that there is no problem in Indonesia when rain begins

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