You know what I miss about being a kid in Scotland? Snow days. Back in the 80′s before the climate started going all apeshit thanks to the shortsightedness of our parents’ generation, every winter would guarantee at least five to ten days where roads became impassible, cars wouldn’t start anyway and school boilers started to cry. I remember walking down my street in Kinross with the snow piled so high around me it towered over my head, creating an unbounded white playground for us all to explore.
Fast forward to now and my current life in Taiwan. Most people here have never seen snow, although generally they’re aware of its existence from watching Ice Age. Generally I’m laughed out of class when I try to introduce my students to the concept of curling. Sledging? Forget about it. So, no snow days here. What do we have to break up the monotony afflicting a vastly and indeed terrifyingly overworked population?
That’s right, as we speak Typhoon Talim is blazing a trail through the narrow strait separating Taiwan from China. Normally typhoons approach from the east and are broken up by the spine of mountains running down the island’s north-south axis and dissipate long before they reach west-coast Taichung. Not Talim, he’s an audacious bugger, blazing in from the south-west and attacking our exposed flank. First rains hit around 10am and picked up over the past few hours. We’re in a lull right now but I’m sure it’ll pick up again soon – eye of the storm or something like that.
The government is all too aware of the disruptive power and physical danger of tropical storms so have a sophisticated early warning system in place (something British Rail could use if memory serves). By yesterday that had already called the order; no schools or government offices would open today. The collective joyous shout could be heard on every street in the city. Or at least in my head.
But wait, I forgot that my boss is an insufferable fuckhole! Would we be granted today’s leave of absence? Every other school in Taichung announced their closure at least 12 hours ahead of classes. Mine waited until 1 hour before I was due to leave. If I’d been forced to drive in through the fist-sized raindrops and scooter-punching winds I was already contemplating my resignation. *sigh of relief*
So what to do with my newfound (albeit temporary) freedom? Well they don’t call me Party Animal for nothing. Or at all. No, I set in motion Operation Do Fuck All. This has so far consisted of
- Watching a few episodes of Buffy Season 3 (Faith has just gone evil, it’s getting good)
- Playing some bass and guitar
- Eating pasta and coffee
- Reading “The Drunkard’s Walk”, a study of randomness and its effects on our lives
- Studying a bit of Chinese
Believe me, I’m just getting started. It’ll soon be beer o’clock, there’s a little cooking to be done and maybe more reading. I like typhoon days. Bye for now, going to do a little more Fuck All.