Rain in Beijing / by Simmon Li

Today, I witnessed my first rainstorm in Beijing. Needless to say, I underestimated the amount of water that came from the sky. It was simply amazing to see that much water come down. The rain water system wasn’t able to handle the downpour, and the streets ran with dirty water. It was a bit crazy to see the kind of water on the street that I saw. It’s not something that would have happened in Toronto. My feet were soaked, the water crested over the tops of my shoes. At first, I was shrugging off the rain. I’ve walked through rain storms in Toronto before, and it’s never been a big deal. Though, once the storm got going, I realized that perhaps I should take the advice of a local. I ended up sucking it up and buying a rain jacket (though the thing didn’t end up working all that well). Because of my experience with umbrellas in the past, I opted for the rain jacket. With the wind that usually accompanies rain storms, umbrellas end up being useless. Anyway, like I said, it was just wild. The rain kept coming, and soaked me. The rain jacket I bought let water into the shell where the zipper was, so it didn’t really protect me at all from the rain after a while.

When I got in, my socks and shoes were soaked through. What struck me though was just how dirty the water was. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised, I kind of expected it to be dirty. While we were walking through the rain, all I could think of was “Damn, this rain water is probably carrying someone’s long forgotten shit into my shoes.” It’s really not that big of a deal, because I didn’t have any open wounds on my feet, but I hope that my shoes don’t smell funny in the morning. The rain water running off the street was just incredible. And I guess it’s my own fault for bringing (more or less) cloth shoes.

Of course, I wanted a cup of coffee, which is why we went out in the first place. It was a pretty nice treat, as coffee is pretty hard to find here, but in hindsight, maybe I should have went another day. On the plus side, I got to shower after being out in the rain. You just feel kind of icky after being out there, having other people’s shit run over your feet.

I’m probably exaggerating the “other people’s shit” part, but one can never know especially here in Beijing. Until next time!