Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beginning of Rainy Season

Rainy season began last week. About two weeks ago the weather in Jogja became much more uncomfortable. I am not sure if the temperature is much higher, perhaps a few degrees, and certainly the humidity jumped to around 70%, but I think the main difference was the wind. During the dry season there was a constant breeze in the city, and in our house, we didn't really need fans since there was good air movement. However, about the beginning of October, this changed so that we have all our fans on all the time.

When it rains, it tends to cool down a bit, but we haven't yet reached the point in the rainy season when it rains every day. This means that for the last two weeks, it has been hot, humid and sticky. Of course, it is going to be hot, humid and sticky for the next six months or so, but as with the cold of winter in Canada, it takes a few weeks to adjust.

Indonesians usually bathe twice a day, once in the morning and once late in the afternoon. The lady who helps us with the children isn't particularly impressed by the fact that we don't bathe the children similarly so she has taken it upon herself to do it. It seems to me that Sara and Raina spend a lot of time taking baths. However, with the onset of rainy season, the rest of the family is slowly adopting the habit of bathing before supper.

One of the benefits that comes with the beginning of the rainy season is cleaner air. I have been struggling with a sore throat over the last month or so which I believe is the result of dust and pollution. My 30 minute walk to work is mostly along congested roads so it isn't all that surprising that I am having some sort of respiratory issues. Lori and the kids don't seem to be affected. The rain helps keep the dust and pollution down.

Another benefit that comes with the rainy season is everything turns green. It is not that vegetation browns like we experienced in Nigeria, but the greening is noticeable. Curiously, there isn't much colour. Javanese love elaborate gardens and plants, but most of these plants don't flower. There are plants here that have bright colours and one can't walk around without seeing many different varieties of orchids. However, the vast majority of plants cultivated around homes are broad leaf plants that don't flower. And these plants are almost always potted. I haven't figured that one out yet.

Mostly, though, I am looking forward to the rainy season for the great thunderstorms. In the middle of the season, we get two or three thunderstorms a week and there is nothing as soothing as rain pounding on the roof and some good thunder and lightning.


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