Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 23 2021

Level 3 to end

They announced this afternoon that Level 3 would end on the 26th, in a few days’ time. Of course, this is going to be a gradual relaxation, and the pessimist inside me predicts that cases will go back up and we’ll be back at Level 3 again before this is over. But I could be wrong. For those of us who are still not fully vaccinated, this presents a worrying situation. Companies are calling all their employees to come back so they can pretend to work at the office instead of actually working at home. Productivity will be the same, of course, but bosses here love love love it when they see someone fake “running” with tiny steps down the hallway carrying a bunch of papers that are most likely whatever report they had on hand when they got up. “They’re so busy!” the boss thinks, dimly. “I must be a good boss! I deserve a raise!”

But we’ll see, I guess. The typhoon that was headed in our direction balked when it bounced against our territorial waters, as if Taiwan’s version of William T. Riker had shouted “Shields up!” It spun indecisively for a day or two before shrinking northward, abashed. Now it’s probably going to beat up Shanghai in frustration. But for now, we’re seeing heavy rains on occasion due to its proximity. This afternoon after I came home from work and had lunch on my coffee table (a rare sandwich today, as I usually get a chicken lunchbox), and goofed off online for a few hours, I saw that there was sunshine outside, so I grabbed my cameras and an umbrella and headed down to the riverside as has been my wont during these non-urban-wandering times. The water level at Bitan was a bit high but nothing catastrophic. I walked down the river, under the bridges and by the golf range to see how the Xizhou Village was fairing. As I approached the gate, I could see one of those yellow warning ribbons slung across the road. As I watched, a taxi drove through it, breaking it and tossing it to the ground.

As I walked into the village, I quickly realized that most of it was no longer there. After a couple of shops, I saw a vast field of wreckage dotted with a couple of bulldozers and cranes. Apparently they’d been in the midst of tearing it all down when the typhoon approached, necessitating a ceasing of operations. I wandered around the area for a bit, taking a few photos of the few bits of buildings still standing, pieces of art in the wreckage, that kind of thing. It was kind of sad, though I realized that the entire village had moved up the hill to a newly built complex that wouldn’t be subject to flooding.

It began to rain as evening fell, and I began to walk back as I’d ordered dinner. Before long it became a torrential downpour, and was getting soaked despite my big umbrella. I covered my camera with my shirt to keep it from getting too wet. The high-rises across the river were just vague forms through the heavy rain as I slogged through flooded walkways back up the river. The lights were on but the sky was still visible, and everything was shiny and misty at the same time. It was exhilarating, but I was glad to get back to the blessedly dry Water Curtain Cave for dinner and Star Trek.

posted by Poagao at 8:39 pm  

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