Monsoon Season

View from office

December sneaked in like a silent kitten, but here in Singapore, the unmistakable sign that the year end is fast approaching is undoubtedly the thunderstorms that pelt the island almost each afternoon, courtesy of the Northeast Monsoon.

Now, it rains pretty much all year round in Singapore so we’re generally an umbrella-friendly bunch . But monsoon rain is something else. If the perennial afternoon rain we get is a pick-up truck, then monsoon rain is a 10-ton wrecker.

Indeed, we often experience our version of the 4 seasons in a single day – warm mornings, scorching mid-days, cool and windy afternoons as the clouds gather, and cold evenings after a few hours of unrelenting downpour. To qualify, ‘cold’ here really hovers around 24-26 degree Celsius.

A few weeks ago, Lisa Henson from the Jim Henson Company dropped in for a visit. After lunch we drove her to her next appointment, and the sky opened up and poured like it’s from a bucket. It’s not easy driving in one of these downpours I can tell you. Visibility is pretty much limited to 10-15 metres ahead, the rain pelts the car and windscreen like it’s trying to beat you into submission, and add to all that the general pandemonium that’s happening outside – flooded roads, roaring winds, flashes of lights from vehicles that you can’t quite tell if they’re 10 or 50 metres ahead…anyway, you get the idea.

It was apparent that Lisa’s never been in weather like that. She was visibly a mix of excitement, awe, and probably genuine concern – that her life could well be in the hands of a driver who kept looking back at her reaction to the weather through the rear view mirror instead of looking at the road ahead. Meantime the other two gentlemen in the car – Choon Meng and Chi Kong – just joked away like two kids experiencing an automatic car wash for the first time.

I’m glad to report that we got Lisa safely to her destination, and she’s even be on the email since. The ordeal appears over for Ms Henson.

Let’s see how the weather holds up for next week’s Asia TV Forum. Could have a few surprises in store for some unsuspecting overseas guests not used to torrential downpours.


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