Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Typhoon That Wasn't

(PICTURE: Hanoi didn't get hit by Conson but Hai Phong did.)

If you've been following the weather news for the last few days, you would have read about Typhoon Conson that hit the Phillipines and China. After it soaked China, it was widely reported by CNN that the storm was headed towards "around Hanoi". CNN wasn't the only news outlet to report this, as I think every Vietnamese newspaper, radio and television station gave the same weather prediction. With the huge floods just two years in the rear-view mirror, Hanoi was in total panic mode to prepare for the incoming typhoon. The supermarkets were busy, the markets were mayhem (the vendors doubled their prices) and seemingly every candle near my house was bought up (we got four).

On Saturday, the winds in Hanoi were ridiculous. I could feel my motorbike drifting every time I was driving down the road. However, there was no rain. On Saturday night, Huyen and I had dinner plans with our friends Dave and Elissa. When Huyen and I fought the winds at 7PM to go to their house, we were one of the few motorbikes on the street. While eating dinner at Dave and Elissa's the wind was absolutely fierce outside, but again, not a drop of rain. After our great meal and a triumphant evening of spades (props to Huyen who just learned the game and was a fantastic partner) we headed home at about 1:30AM. On our way back to our apartment, the skies opened up and absolutely drenched Huyen and me. However, this wasn't the typhoon that was predicted as the news was reporting it would now arrive the next afternoon.

Well, the next day the weather was absolutely beautiful. The best part though was that everyone in the city stayed inside thinking the rain was about to come. It was nice to have the city be so calm for a change. In the end, the typhoon never came and now we've got a fridge full of food.