I don’t think November and December of 2015 are going to be two months that I forget for the rest of my life. Every year in Chennai, the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) pours rain all over the city. When I first arrived in Chennai in 2008, I remember that like clockwork the rains would come during the night and then clear up by morning. The last few years, the rains have been erratic and last year it was as if the NEM didn’t even happen.
Monsoon season is upon us here in Chennai, it arrived last night with quite a bang. Thunder rolled (it rolled a 4), lightning flashed and I got grumpy because I couldn’t sleep. A quick school lesson for you here…the monsoon refers to a type of weather pattern, not the actual rain, the rain is a consequence of a weather pattern. There you go, something to impress your friends with.
The first day of the monsoon brought 12cm of rain in 24 hours and as usual turned the roads in to shallow water rivers. When I first arrived in India I wondered why all the pavement curbs were all 2 foot high, it’s so it can channel all the water. Or at least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
When I woke up it was still raining so I knew that getting to work would be an issue. I toyed with the idea of working from home but the dedicated worker that lives within me told me to get to the office. The problem is the road outside my apartment had turned in to a river and just getting out the apartment complex would involve walking ankle deep through, well, water with suspicious things floating in it.
Of course, I used to be in the SAS
so a little bit of murky water shouldn’t be an issue for me, I’ve roughed it like no one else has. Yeah, that was 10 years ago though, so I did the only sensible thing I could do: I called up the office manager and asked him to come round and pick me up on the back of his bike. Yeah, hardcore!
Not sure where the old boy who owned this rubbish cart went, but he obviously didn’t want to be out in the rain and left the cart standing there!
I took this video this morning as I was travelling to work. The recent monsoon rains turned the streets in to rivers, but a little rain never stopped the enterprising citizens of Chennai as they plough head long in to fast flowing rivers!
It’s Monsoon season here in Tamil Nadu. Except the monsoon rains are conspicuously missing (useless geekish fact #394: the word monsoon refers to the weather pattern, not the actual rain that occurs during the monsoon).
When I was here in 2006, the monsoon season started as soon as I arrived and finished the moment I left. It’s quite incredible, one day it’s fine, hot and sunny, then next day it rains. Non-stop. For 3 months.
One of the things I wasn’t looking forward to when I came here was the monsoon because the rain just makes it really difficult to get around if you don’t have your own transport. Trying to get a tuk-tuk is a mission at the best of times, trying to do that when it’s bucketing it down with rain that’s already up to your armpits is nigh on impossible.
The whole of Chennai turns in to something like the Venice of India, streets are turned in to rivers, there’s mud every where, you can’t go outside because you’ll drown in the wall of water.
So, although I’m sure it’s some global warming catastrophe and the lack of monsoon is doing untold damage to the local farming industry, for me, it’s brilliant. The longer the rains stay away, the easier it is for me to get to the office and back, do my food shopping at the weekend and generally go out and about.
Infact, I’m selfishly hoping that this is the year where it doesn’t rain.
It’s just started raining 🙁