It’s that time of year again. You know, when we are far enough into the wet season to really start getting fed up with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning, I do after all come from Manchester, a city where six hours of drizzle is viewed as a balmy summer day. However, as we enter what is traditionally the wettest month of October the nerves are getting stretched and there’s a tendency to start cursing when the monsoon rocks up.
This year has been pretty good so far, certainly compared to last year which was the longest, wettest wet season I’ve experience in a decade in Southeast Asia.
I don’t think we had a rain free month last dry season, there was rain each month right through, and some of it was heavy.
This year the wet season resembled last year’s dry season, with one notable exception. Flooding in District 2 has definitely gotten worse this year. Since they raised Tran Nao a metre and built the new half road alongside the highway on the Thao Dien side, flooding has been deeper and more prolonged.
In mid September I got caught out having gone into Thao Dien to watch a late night Champions League Football match. The rain arrived shortly after I did at DTwo Sports Pub. It was biblical in its proportions and actually came up through the floor of the pub; a first. When it eventually ceased, I left to ride home on my motorbike. Realising that Duong Thao Dien would be bad, I cut through to Quoc Huong and avoided it.
I went under the highway and up Tran Nao, totally dry and feeling pleased with myself. I then turned into So 12 and the water immediately came up to my mid calves. Within seconds in was above my knees and the bike cut out.
I was left, thigh deep, pushing the bike for about half a mile, though it seemed a lot further. I was soaked, breathless and totally knackered. Then I stepped in a drain and it went up to my waist. All this time I was trying to keep the laptop on top of my handlebars and struggling to keep the bike upright.
I despaired that my iPhone as always in my left pocket would be ruined. I managed to get home and went for the phone only to realise that I had inadvertently dropped it into my laptop bag. I never do that but this time it saved the day.
I will watch with interest as other roads are raised in Thao Dien. Nguyen Ba Huan where I go for a shave was raised a year ago and now the shop floods every time it rains, something that never happened before.
Somebody somewhere needs to figure out that each time you raise a road, you put a lot of stress on other parts of an already flood-stressed area. They have been learning this the hard way all over Europe for a couple of decades.
In the meantime, I’ll grin and bear it, happy in the knowledge that about five or six weeks should see the end of the worst of it. We can then get back to what I love best; endless dry hot summer days, blue skies and dry sandals.
Following a highly successful 25-year career as a singer/songwriter and musician, Keith pulled out of the rat race and moved to Southeast Asia in 2008. First living in Thailand, he moved to Cambodia and then relocated to Ho Chi Minh City in early 2013.