The birds are happily singing away this morning and, even though the sun is poking its face out in between the clouds I know at some point today without looking at the forecast, it’s going to rain… and rain hard. Why? Do I have some type of crystal ball? No, of course not. I know because monsoon season has begun in Phuket.
It’s actually a welcome change though. We were experiencing almost drought conditions and locals and government officials were tsk tsking and wringing their hands. One resort owner even told me they were trucking in fresh water. Yeesh, we’re on an island! Surrounded by water.When we lived in Dubai I know that seawater was desalinated so I wasn’t too worried… of course you can’t just snap your fingers and have all the necessary equipment in place but I know it can be done. Regardless, the tables have turned and Mother Nature has taken care of us, again.
Speaking of Mother Nature… she delivers her soft touch, or awesome power, worldwide, without direction or dictation from anyone. No matter where you live, it’s something with which us global citizens have come to terms. When we first left Canada to live in Florida, all our friends asked, “Won’t you miss the seasons?” Initially I said, ‘hell no!’ My favourite season is summer and I was headed for somewhere that had summer year-round… not to mention that I absolutely abhor being cold and as we left icy Ontario I swore I wouldn’t scrape another windshield as long as I lived.
For the first year or two, I did miss the fall. However, I came to realize that there were still seasons in Florida and my mother happily took photos for me if I couldn’t get home as the leaves changed colour. Winter, spring, summer and fall still brought a change in temperature, a different character to the beach and in winter, we even dragged out the sweatshirts. In the north of Florida, there was often frost. In South Florida we never did have to buy a ‘snow’ shovel or scrap the windshield of the car but I did have seat heaters for the two weeks a year that I woke up to single digits (Celsius).
When we lived in Dubai the seasons were a little subtler… there was hot and hotter. During ‘hotter’ the wind kicked up and so did the ‘shamals’ (blinding sand storms that blew in from the desert), which were almost as bad as driving in a snowstorm because your wipers don’t do any good and neither do your high beams. ‘Hot’ season, which was the same time of year as winter in Canada, brought a little rain but it only lasted about three or four days. Hotter season fell during Canada’s summer but while Canadians were finally surfacing after a long winter, blinking happily into the sun, those living in Dubai were cowering in air conditioned, dark corners trying to escape the soaring mercury, which scorched any grass on the front lawn and seared hands on black steering wheels.
So, I welcome monsoon season with open arms as I watch the grass and trees getting greener, the air becoming fresher… and the streets a little quieter as low season begins. I only pray that the floods aren’t so bad this year and everyone stays safe and sound.
by Anne O’Connell.
A published author and freelance writer, Anne O’Connell, has been an expat since 1993 when she and her husband escaped the cold of Toronto, Canada and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They enjoyed the sun and sand for 14 years, while she worked in the PR field, and then decided it was time for a new adventure. Heading for even more sun and sand, they moved to Dubai in late 2007 and then on to Thailand in 2011.
Anne has been working as a freelance copywriter and communications consultant since 2007, specializing in marketing, corporate communications, public relations, social media and website content. She and her husband have a passion for travel and that adventurous spirit has taken them all over the world. Anne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has a bachelor of public relations from Mount St. Vincent University. You can visit her website at www.anne-oconnell.com or her blog at www.anne-writingjustbecause.blogspot.com.
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