My first flood

13 08 2010

Monday July 26 was like any other Monday in Belize:  I grudgingly got out of bed after multiple snooze sessions and fumbled my way to the kitchen to make some coffee in my trusty stovetop espresso maker.  I then ate a hearty, but boring, breakfast of raisin bran, to which I added an extra share of raisins because, contrary to their advertising, two scoops is simply nowhere near enough.  I showered, cold water only of course, and selected yet another inappropriately casual outfit to wear to work. I then hopped on my bike, and commenced the 8 minute journey to work, sweating profusely while expertly dodging potholes and stray dogs along the way.  Just another day in the life…

In true rainy season form, it started to dump rain round late morning. Living in Vancouver, I am certainly no stranger to copious amounts of wet stuff falling from the sky but, I have to say, “rain” here takes on a whole new meaning.  It’s almost violent, attacking the ground with such force that you can’t help but think the skies are under siege.  And the thunder. Good lordy.  Starts off at a manageable, but ominous, low rumbling but quickly crescendos into fierce bursts that leave you terrified and whimpering under your covers for Mommy.   It literally shakes the ground, setting off car alarms in its wake.

After a solid hour and a half of torrential rain, I noticed a large puddle of water forming on the floor of my lunchroom-cum-office.  And I am on the second floor! I looked out the window and noticed that cars were taking on amphibious qualities as they navigated the flooded streets.  During a short break in the rain, I decided to bike home, figuring it wasn’t that bad.  In case any of you were wondering, biking through sewage and garbage filled water is not as fun as it sounds.  I don’t think I have ever gagged so much in my life.  I arrived home to find the plywood covering the moat entrance to Casa Gnoma completely washed away. Awesome.  As I slid down the ditch, I lost not one, but both my flip flops, and had a helluva time retrieving them as they were floating away in the river that was supposed to be my street!  Amusing in hindsight, maybe.

Flooded street in front of my house

Thankfully, I had remembered to close all my windows (a rare occurrence), and Casa Gnoma was a dry haven.   I hunkered down for what I thought was going to be a few days, plotting out how to best ration my meager food supplies.  But, after a sound night’s sleep, I emerged to find virtually no evidence of the flood, save a few puddles.  I thought I had dreamt the whole thing.  However, upon closer inspection, the puddles contained tons of stranded fish, which got stuck once the river receded back within the confines of its banks.  I admit to attempting to launch them from the side of the road, back into the creek, but gave up after missing a couple times (fish are not so aerodynamic, go figure).

That concludes the experience of my first flood.   Pretty low on the epic scale, I know.  Not that I’m complaining…

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