Typhoon - When Boring Lives Turn Into Adventure

Typhoon - When Boring Lives Turn Into Adventure

 Aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tsim Sha Tsui East (Hong Kong), September 17, 2018

Aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut in Tsim Sha Tsui East (Hong Kong), September 17, 2018

For a collection of rocks surrounded by water, Hong Kong is a pretty stable place. Low criminality rates, highly efficient public transport, and civil administration and long working hours make the city the perfect location for mindlessly grinding the hamster wheel.

One of the few interruptions to the all so smooth daily routine is the occasional Typhoon. The Asian equivalent to the Hurricane of the Americas is a regular phenomenon during the months of June to October and in most years cyclones come close enough to the city that at least once the Typhoon Signal No. 8 (there are also 9 and 10 for even stronger storms) is hoisted.

The T8 signal means basically a complete shutdown of public life: schools, stock exchanges, offices and most public transportation come to a halt and everyone not risking their lives for some Instagram goodness buckles down at home and waits for the storm to pass.

Now you would think, that people hate Typhoons and are terribly afraid of them. However, my experience over the past 11 years is, that this is not the case.

As soon as a Typhoon edges closer to the city, a certain excitement vibrates in the air. It might sound cynic, but it is not entirely different from the evening before a child’s birthday.

The occasional work holiday when the Typhoon does not hit overnight or on weekends (as they seem to do usually), is from my point of you, not the primary motivator of the excitement.

I believe it is the disruption of the daily routine that makes a Typhoon somewhat desirable.

In the eye of a storm, everyone can feel a bit heroic, charging flashlights and power banks, taping big x-shapes on the windows, monitoring the Hong Kong Observatories weather report, exchanging situation reports and posting the best storm videos on Facebook.

The unpredictability of nature creates just the right amount of excitement.

Hong Kong’s infrastructure and building quality are decent, fatalities even during strong Typhoons are relatively rare. So Hong Kongers can secretly wish for a Typhoon, without feeling too guilty.

Maybe humans are just made for adventures and not for dull and protected lives?

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Praise and Prejudice

A Little Birdy That Taught me Chinese

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