I think I have survived my first monsoon rain here. Well, it's still raining and thundering and lightening, but I've at least made it safely back to the guesthouse.
I spent the day at the office working on the first part of the introduction to the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Doris is putting this together and currently has about 60 pages or so I think. Her English is quite rough so I'm trying to re-write it and then I'm working on incorporating the new civil and penal codes throughout, as well as adding concrete stats from reports and such to back up the information on incidences of dv, effects of dv, how the law works within the cultural framework here, etc. It's all pretty interesting.
Then about 4:00 the storm started and it went completely black outside. It was thundering so hard that it was setting off car alarms all around the building and the power kept cutting in and out (surprised actually that it didn't go out completely). And raining like crazy. If you haven't experienced a monsoon rain just picture the worst rain you've seen and add a few gallons of water a minute. Then we started hearing what were clearly gunshots. Apparently, sometimes when big storms come Cambodians feel it is a good idea to fire their guns into the air to ward of the storm. Yeah, works like a charm. So I apparently need to get a Kevlar rainjacket. I don't think it happens too often as Doris had not yet heard of this and she's been here two years.
So we waited until about 5:45 foolishly hoping it might pass but then had to make a go for it. There was only one moto out front so we decided to share it. Imagine three people crammed onto a small motorcycle in the middle of a huge rain storm; I was in the back and it was quite slippery with nothing holding me on. So we get going and the road in front of the Ministry is completely flooded, meaning that as faster cars and motos go by we are literally covered from head to two in a wall of water. It was really kind of fun actually. I had on a little plastic poncho so just my legs got soaked. Then our moto broke down and we stood there chatting and laughing, getting continuously splashed while our good driver got it going again. Last part of the story--the best way to get back to my little home is on a road that runs along the river. This was apparently one of the few non-flooded roads as it was jam packed. So there we were, crammed on this moto, constantly being run into and running into others. Miraculously made it unharmed, had my knees banged against cars a few times, but whatever. Probably good that the street was so crowded cars couldn't move very quickly. So that was my exciting first good storm. It's 7:00 now and still going fairly strongly, about at the level of a good thunder and lightening storm back home.
Tomorrow morning I'll move out of the guesthouse and into Doris'. Not looking forward to repacking all my worldly possessions but it will be worth it. Monday is a holiday so I should be going down to the beach but I'll miss all the buses out in the morning because of changing locales. I'm going to hang out with some U of Michigan folks though, and maybe my new Australian friends if they decided to stay in town. Was going to go out tonight to see a little of the local hotspots but the weather is keeping us all in.