Thursday, September 29, 2011

My First Typhoon 8 Experience in HK

I am used to thunderstorms in Malaysia but that did not prepare me for my first typhoon 8 experience in Hong Kong. Yesterday evening, the HK Observatory issued a typhoon 3 warning which means strong winds are in store. When we first arrived, we experienced a T3 signal but it did not go further than that. In the wee hours of the morning, the typhoon 8 storm signal was issued, courtesy of Typhoon Nesat. With maximum gusts ranging from 82-115 kilometres per hour, it was no wonder I did not get a good rest last night. Despite securing all doors and windows, the strong gusty winds somehow found their way in through ducts and I could hear rattling throughout the night, accompanied by the sound of crazy howling wind outside. Schools and offices are closed. Buses do not run. So, it's a holiday for the majority. Since I work from home, it doesn't make much difference. J is away and is scheduled to fly back today. For now, it appears that the flight is on schedule, but we'll have to wait and see. Thankfully, I managed to take Kess out to relieve herself this morning before the rain hit. There were lots of debris and broken branches on the road and we did not stay out longer than necessary. When the rain started, the view from my window was like this:
Half an hour later, I could hardly see outside.
So, what should one do when a typhoon 8 signal is in place? Well, the HK observatory tells us to: Complete all precautions now before gales commence. Lock all windows and doors. Fit bars into positions and insert reinforced shutters and gates if available. Adhesive tape fixed to large window panes in exposed positions will reduce damage by broken glass. Do not stand near windows on the exposed side of your home. Move all furniture and valuables away from these areas. Make sure you have a safe place to shelter, should windows be broken. Now is the time to decide which rooms you will use to shelter if the windows on the exposed side of your home become broken. Owners of neon signs should arrange for the electricity supply to their signs to be switched off. Park your car where it is least likely to be damaged. Avoid staying in the street. Return home as soon as possible if conditions so permit. The T8 signal is supposed to be on for the whole day. Let's hope it doesn't increase to a T9 or T10 signal. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The changing season in Hong Kong

Autumn is here. The change from summer has been gradual. The days are shorter - the sun rises a little later in the morning and it gets dark by 6.30 pm now. It used to be that the late evenings were cooler. Now, even the late mornings are cool. This means that Kess and I can go for longer walks in the morning, even if we get a later start. Before, during the peak of summer, our little beagle will let me know when she wants to go home by doing her own u-turn and pulling me back, usually only after walking for about 15-20 minutes. She would be panting not long after we start our walk. Today, this beagle was raring to go and we actually walked past the Wan Chai Gap Road for the first time since she arrived in Hong Kong. In fact, I had to gently nudge her to do the u-turn as we would have to cover the same distance back.

Having lived in Malaysia where the only seasons we have are rain and shine, and daylight is fairly constant throughout the year, I look forward to experiencing the four seasons in Hong Kong. We were told that last year's winter was quite cold by Hong Kong standards. I wonder how our beagle will adjust to the cold weather, having lived her 9 years in a tropical country. J and I noticed that she has more fur now on her belly. Before, we used to see the spots on her belly. Now, those are covered by soft white fur. I suppose being in an air-conditioned home during this past summer is good preparation for her!

It's now 3 months since we've relocated to Hong Kong. I guess I've finally adjusted to it being home. It's been fun exploring new places and experiencing new things. Recently, our families came for a visit and we were able to revisit some of the places we used to go to, like Stanley and the Peak and explore new places like Lamma Island. Shopping was fantastic and we were all a little poorer after our shopping spree. At least we now have a fabulous new wardrobe! Of course, being Malaysians, we tried out new restaurants as well. It is so much more fun to have a big group for meals coz we get to try more dishes. I really must put together a to-do list for visitors and post it on this blog. I guess this will go on my to-do list!
Hong Kong by day and by night