Thursday, November 4, 2010

African Rains

The rain is unstoppable.  Everyone and everything is wet - even people standing under awnings are wet! The street is a rushing torrent.  Water from up the street to the left and up the street to the right merge together and cascade violently to lower ground. Rainwater is ratta-ratta-ratta rapping off the metal roofs and  pouring evenly off all the corrugated grooves.  The music of the downpour drones out all else.  Plush leather couches left out on the street on display in order to sell are now the recipients of a high pressure rain-wash.  The currents rush through table legs and chairs, and lap like waves upon the low concrete stoops of the shop doors - proprietors looking on, more bemused than worried.  A stylish woman with Cleopatra eyes painted on the side of the 'Susu Salon du Beaute' watches the commotion, her grace out of place in this wild world.  Wise city planners forgot to put drains into the city layout and now everyone suffers these temporary floods during rainy season (and did i mention Conakry is one of the wettest cities in the world?)
Cars are submerged, streets are navigable only by boat.  Men have a fairly good, honest excuse to stop and sit at bars and conversate until the waters decline ( I say this because they'd be doing it anyway).  One woman braves the flood-waters and is drenched with her kids in tow - or maybe they just all needed a shower? Buckets are strategically placed by the dozens to fill up for later use.  Its hard to imagine now, as the rain pummels down, that it could ever be dry. Wait 30minutes after the rainy barrage, however,  and it will be as hot and humid as ever.  For most then, this rain is a welcome change.

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