10.20.2004

Typhoon No. 23 actually has something to say for itself. Not the first typhoon I've experienced here and, I suspect, not the last though it's predecessors have generally been anticlimactic. Typhoon 23 however has been asserting it's severe self all day.

As is often the case during severe weather, school was cancelled today but I learned this only after having biked to work, arriving utterly soaked and unable to laugh at my 'face very red' as much as the other sensei obviously could. One sensei was particularly pleased to be able to use a recently learned English idiom and followed me around the staff room pointing out of the window and saying 'Cats and Dogs' over and over again.
On typhoon days the staff room TV is switched on and all day the news stations broadcast an endless loop of wet misery from every island of Japan, tracing the route of the cyclone. (Generally, typhoons come up from the South, kicking the shit out of Okinawa and moving on to Kyushu, Shikoku and then across Honshu, moving North Easterly out over Tokyo). Floods, people gazing vacantly from windows and wondering how the hell they're gonna get to Pachinko when the Honda is submerged, weak pensioners crossing the road their umbrellas buckled and turned inside out, their scrunched up faces following suit. Always on these latter unfortunates the camera lingers just a little too long, almost revelling in some poor old dear's distress. Go help her for god's sake, before she's blown under an articulated lorry!
Then there are the requisite shots of seafronts and rivers, always fierce and overflowing, and shots too of absolutely nothing - blurs - the camera lens too rainslicked to provide a coherent image yet these shots too are left onscreen for inordinate lengths of time as if to say 'The weather's so bad, we can't see a thing. Look at it! Fuck!'.
Throughout these broadcasts the bottom right corner of the screen is reserved for a graphic like this where the white and red circles represent the typhoon, the lines it's projected path. (On the graphic linked you may notice typhoon 24 lurking out there in the Pacific, due some time next week). Updated constantly, the main circle of the cyclone shifts up across the map like the minute hand of a clock and I often find myself gazing out of the window for any sign of a vast white and red disc jerking stacatto like above Wakayama, which is dumb I know but it gets me through the day.

Apartment: Finally tidied
Recycling: Finally sorted
Japanese Learning: Slow
Music: Shudder To Think - Appalachian Lullaby (thanks Stephen!)

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