I had my afternoon all planned out. There was a screening of Transformers at 4:30 and I was excited to watch it at my favorite movie theater in Causeway Bay. I decided I’d invite a friend… I called their number and the phone just hung, no dial tone, no ring, nothing. Next I tried another friend, same thing. Weird. Maybe they turned off their phones? Then I tried another friend, same thing. Did I forget to pay my bill?
In the chance that there was some incident going on, I figured I’d check the Internet.
It was raining out slightly, so I tried the Hong Kong Weather Observatory. The site was barely loading. I tried the text link, and then an alternate site – Weather Underground. It said that there was a typhoon signal 3 warning at the moment, and that it would be raised to a level 8 at 3:00 in the afternoon. (Check out my previous post about typhoons for definitions of the different signals.)
It was currently around 2:30. I thought about it for a minute, the neighborhood did seem a little more quiet than usual. I bet the official weather site was bombarded with traffic since every office worker was waiting to get the official verdict on a potentially early start to the weekend. But what if there was an actual emergency? The fact that mobile phone lines were non-operational was worrying. (The only other time this regularly occurs is near midnight on New Year’s Eve.)
I was disappointed, there goes my date with Optimus Prime! I decided to hit the grocery store to buy something to cook for dinner. I went to the neighborhood branch of Wellcome, and it was as if people were stocking up for a month. The lines at the checkout were nearly thirty people long. I was definitely not going to wait. I hit the ParkNshop a block away, and there were only two people on line in front of me.
A few hours later, sick of being cooped up inside, I decided to take a walk. Stepping outside, I felt only a few drops of rain. The Mid-Levels escalator, my normal route up, was shut down. It closes during a typhoon signal 8, much to the annoyance of regular users.[photopress:Hong_Kong_escalator.jpg,full,pp_image]
I proceeded all the way up to the top of the escalator system, climbing the stairs until it ends at Conduit Road. Next I walked towards Sheung Wan, and headed up towards a trail that goes to the Peak.
Along the way I saw downed branches and leaves. Approaching the start of the Morning Trail that goes from Mid-Levels to The Peak, I came across many larger branches.[photopress:Typhoon_fallen_branches2.jpg,full,pp_image]
Due to the darkness, and my phobia of stepping on a snake (after two recent encounters after rainstorms,) I decided to head back home.
Last night Gucci had an event at the Hong Kong Convention Center and bravely decided not to postpone. I went to HALO which was crowded and I didn’t leave until after 4 am. Here are two of my new fans![photopress:Korean_Fans.jpg,full,pp_image]
Leaving the club it was raining hard and I received offers to buy my umbrella!
I don’t doubt that there are serious typhoons that pass through Hong Kong, but the last three times a typhoon 8 has been declared, I’ve witnessed little more than a rainstorm (luckily.)