Staying in after the typhoon

The army was out for the clean-up sporting all new equipment. From the chainsaws to the large tractors, everything looked fresh off the assembly line.

The army was out for the clean-up sporting all new equipment. From the chainsaws to the large tractors, everything looked fresh off the assembly line.

Typhoon Meradi arrived across the Taiwan Strait and brought with it high winds and flooding. Work was cancelled and the highway to ChangLe closed, so there was no moving to my more settled location. I spent the day indoors reading, the upside to not having Internet or interest in work.

Staying in all day wasn’t by choice, though by yesterday morning the typhoon had subsided, the flooding it caused resulted in water outside my door that was just below my waist. Not knowing the street and what might be under my feet I heeded the advice of the security guard and stayed in. I’ve lived through typhoons many times in Taiwan and we are usually quite prepared. This time I wasn’t. I hadn’t known how serious the flooding is here and that I wouldn’t be able to get to a store or restaurant for food.

So here I was in my room with 700ml of water, 4 bananas, and a small bag of almonds, wondering how long the flooding would last, and wishing I knew how to swim.

Company HR never got in touch during this time, to let me know about work closures, weather or if my meetings with them were cancelled during the day. It’s been obvious for a while that despite individually being nice people, that they have no systems in place for dealing with foreign hires. Luckily I reached out to them and my contacts to see what was going on.

There was running water that I could double boil. I had enough water and food to survive of course, and it’s nothing compared to the struggles of others, but in talking to the security guard I lamented that I hadn’t prepared well, and that I hadn’t eaten. So he gave me one of his dried packages of noodles to eat. And later in the evening showed up at my door with a hot lunch box. Fantastic guy! The cleaning lady kept me abreast of the weather situation. They were the bright points of my day.

Looking outside my window I see people busily starting to clean up all the sludge and garbage that remains. Strangely, despite it being on all day yesterday and though the storm, there is no water today.