Friday, August 22, 2008

Stormy Weather

My aunt called yesterday and said that with the typhoon approaching, we might want to prepare for no restaurants being open the next day. No food? I was mildly panicked.

As it turns out, the city was pretty much closed up today. It was a strange thing to cross the street without watching for cars. They canceled the buses, taxis and streetcars. The ferries closed for the day too. Even the subway was running a limited scheduled. It was blissfully windy and almost cool. I was hungry.

Happily, after a very windy walk around the neighborhood, we found a shop still open for lunch. Inside, they were serving up steaming dishes of curried ribs on rice. Guests continually streamed into the shop and ordered up fried eggs and milk tea. When all fifteen seats inside were taken, patrons sat at the outdoor tables though the wind was howling. At out table, a kid was playing with his food and reveling in having a day off from school, his parents happier still to have a day off from work. Before leaving, we asked if they would be open for dinner. The reply - we'll be out of food by then.

Dinnertime. By now the wind had really picked up. I sat in the hotel lobby for a few minutes watching people's umbrellas flip inside out. The lampposts swayed, and overhead signs swung in a menacing fashion. I had a raincoat, but by the time I'd crossed the street I was soaked, right down to my sneakers. At least I wore sneakers this time. An afternoon coffee run in my flip flops had proven a bit trying. We walked, well, ran by restaurant after restaurant, fooled by bright neon signs into thinking that the shops were open. They weren't. At last, a lone restaurant, open and serving soup and other warm dishes. It was loud inside, and the service so harried, that I found myself shoveling food in an almost involuntary manner. I don't know why I felt so rushed. Perhaps so I could run around in the rain again?


Blogger Charles said...

Now that's an eating adventure. One of my favorite factoids about typhoons and Hong Kong is that when the new bridges opened about the time of the handover (now I'm demonstrating how absurdly old I am, was that 10+ years ago!) they were proud that the bridges would be able to withstand typhoon level winds and the subway would continue to run. Now I wonder who was going to try to see if they were lying? Be safe, eat well.

9:02 AM  

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