28 September 2010

Rainy days


Charleston, S.C.

Dang kids, it's raining again. Who has a really big truck and wants to drive me to work? I expect I'll be dodging flooded streets again tomorrow. Time to check the tide chart.

Rain doesn't bother me. I enjoy a good downpour as long as I don't have to drive in it. I grew up just down the road from the rainiest place in the world - Cherrapunji. We used to run outside like wild maniacs the day the monsoons began. We'd slip and slide in the mud, climb in the fifty five gallon drums under the rain spout and undo our braids. No baths tonight, mum!

I walked three miles to school then, rain or shine. We would look up the hill at what was normally a path, to see what looked like a rushing waterfall, take off our shoes and wade right through it.
The city of Cherrapunji is 1,290 meters above sea level and much of the torrential rains run off the mountains into the valley below, which receives an annual rainfall of 1,270 centimeters. Once it rained 2,290 centimeters in one season!

For those of us not used to centimeters here is the conversion: 2290 cm = 901.6 inches of rain in one season. Yup!