Saturday, September 08, 2007

When the Wind Blows

"One day it started raining, and it didn't quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin' rain... and big ol' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath." - Forrest Gump

I feel I could describe the wind back home where I used to live in much the same way that Forrest Gump described the rain in Vietnam. We had lots of types of it, and as I used to sit in the attic working amidst the sound of the building being battered, I often contemplated precisely the kind of look that would cross my face when the roof parted company from the rest of the house. Ironically though, when a particularly bad storm with 100mph winds hit, it was all the other houses in the street which got damaged and I only lost a couple of fences.

I used to think that living in an apartment would largely relieve me from the stresses of worrying about property damage and maintenance, and while I never got round to such a lifestyle in the UK, lots of people in Korea live in apartments and it has been one of the peripheral attractions of living here. But there hasn't been much in the way of potentially damaging weather to worry about - despite a couple of near misses from typhoons, it's hardly been windy at all - until four days ago. Another typhoon was passing over Japan, but while it was too small and far away to really influence what happens here to any great extent, by apparent coincidence it's been quite windy here. So a whistling noise accompanied by the sound of otherwise immovable objects departing for new locations has been constant background noise, along with the occasional odd noise from somewhere within our building...

And that might have provided a hint that the idea that I can sit comfortably in my apartment ignoring Mother Nature may be somewhat illusory. As I stepped bleary-eyed into the bathroom Thursday morning I couldn't help noticing a large black hole in the ceiling where some kind of sealed hatch had been before. Somehow the pressure of the wind seems to have sucked it off. Fortunately I was able to retrieve it by sticking my hand into the darkness in a worryingly Alien-esque moment - but it doesn't look like it can be properly pulled back into place. Storm damage - in an apartment - so much for my complacency. Now I'm a little more worried about what a major storm could do to these old apartment buildings, but fortunately we will soon be approaching the end of typhoon season here.

Korean tags: 건강, 날씨

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