Monday, February 22, 2010

The wettest summer in history

Today it pours, again. It doesn't rain like this in California where I grew up. The rain here comes in tropical storms. Neighbors can smell a storm coming within 20 minutes. After 3 years here I'm starting to notice it too. The wind picks up, the clouds loom in, its warm (at least 70-75 degrees) and the small shopkeepers peek their head out the doors peering up at the sky. It's about to start they think.

Last week within 4 days of each other, we were hit by pellets of rain that after just one hour, flooded whole neighborhoods, killed power in most of the city and halted all public transportation. Friday, the second time it happened I had to leave the house right in the middle of it to get money out of the ATM to pay our maid Viviana. (no, it would not be an option to pay her on Monday as she lives so hand to mouth with 9 children of her own and an unemployed husband that she needed the money to feed her brood over the weekend). I donned my knee high rubber boots and headed out. The water on the sidewalk in front of our apartment reached the top of my boots. I was one of the only fools on the street. On the corner of our street is a Cafe Martinez (the Buenos Aires Starbucks) where about ten trapped customers huddled in the back booths with their arms wrapped around their knees to keep their feet from getting drenched on the floor - then a river of rainwater with no where to drain. I slogged on, clinging to the buildings for support. The deepest flooding lasted only a block but it was nothing I'd ever experienced before. What happened to the drains? Apparently they were all clogged, again - for the second time in a week. The news showed a police rescue of a woman and child cross Santa Fe Avenue(just 4 blocks from our house) in a small rubber boat. As I stare out the window listening to the thunder, lightening and pounding rain I just know we are headed for the same.

Yesterday in the paper they cited this month as the rainiest February in Argentine history (well, since they started tracking 50 years ago). I guess we will not bemoan leaving a glorious summer here in the southern hemisphere when we board our flight for the States tomorrow night.

Summer this year, sucked.