And boy did they ever!
I've always been fascinated by storms. I can't say I've always liked them. I'm sure there was a time when I was fearful. A certain car ride or a particularly flashy storm, but in the past ten years or so, I have grown to love thunder storms, lightning storms, hail storms, and the like.
Thailand is hot. No surprise. How unrelenting the heat can feel thanks to an abundance of windows that don't close, doors that won't shut properly, or lack of a room that reaches all the way to the ceiling made for a transition the likes of which I've never experienced before. Heat rashes are the new norm for this girl with sensitive skin, and where it doesn't burn from the heat, there's more than likely a bug bite to itch. It's Thailand. Oh, well.
At site, things have been getting more productive, more exciting, more comfortable, and cooler now as well thanks to the coming of the rains. On a recent work trip, I was taking a walk with a Thai co-worker and thunder rumbled as lightning lit up the darkening sky. She cowered into me and said she was afraid. Now, I know I shouldn't have been surprised. This is a culture where grown women wear Minnie Mouse ears, carry purses with cartoon characters on them, and dress like dolls on many occasions. However, they also live in Thailand, where it is known to rain, a lot. Needless to say, she was surprised when I said it was beautiful. The rest of the walk was pretty humorous. "Don't look," I'd say, "It's beautiful, again."
Along with the rains come slightly cooler temperatures. Not every day, and not all the time, but boy is it nice to sleep in a room instead of a convection oven. I love my fan, but she just doesn't cut through heat the way my good ol' AC back in CA does! I'm going to enjoy this while I have it, smile politely when the Thais say it's "cold" at 80ºF and watch this heat rash of mine fade into oblivion (at least for awhile, I hope!).
Sitting down to dinner with my host family a couple of nights ago, the lights went out right as we began to eat. Power can be a persnickety thing in remote Thailand, and that night was no exception. The rain was pounding on the tin roof, I couldn't hear the solution being conversed about, but was grinning ear to ear at the joy of cool air, earth dampening for the next batch of crops, and the general dismay of my family, as they were positive this might scare me out of my wits. Then, from the kitchen, my dear host emerges with candles burning brightly from the bottom of two tea cups. I wish I had gotten a picture of his look of relief. I wish I had a way to share that snapshot of sounds and sights, smells and emotions more vividly. Let me just say, it was one to hold close to my heart.
There is one unfortunate side effect to the rains. You guessed it, BUGS! Bolder, bigger, and hungrier than ever. Some just fly around without purpose until they land on their backs and spin around until they die. Some like to eat blood, and can't get enough of this particular dish. Some hatch in the rain, fly around annoyingly, then drown in the same rain they came from. I really don't get them. Oh, well. It's Thailand.
Long story short, the rains have come. The temperature has begun to drop. Life is good.