The Rain

The day I arrived, Itoshima was supposed to be hit with a typhoon called Namtheun. All the storm hatches were closed in the house, Katsura gave me a helmet a flashlight, "just in case" and I could hear unintelligible announcements from the rice fields all day long and could only assume they were really ominous storm warnings (there's something quite Big Brother about the warnings and the daily jingles telling time). I was half-afraid and half-excited but then nothing happened. Namtheun maybe came and went and I think I saw two raindrops.

Now were having another typhoon warning, this one is called Malakas. The name is a dirty word in Greece, I've heard, though I'm not sure which dirty word. I don't know the history behind the names, but I do know that a while before I came to Japan, there was one called Lionrock. I kid you not! Lionrock! That's some Game of Thrones -level badassery right there. I've been following Malakas on a few different radars these past two days and I'm actually quite convinced it's going to pass us by too. I'm kinda curious to see what a typhoon would be like, but I really don't want to close the storm hatches again. They're full of spider-webs and God knows what.

I don't want to sound heartless when I say I'm curious to experience a typhoon, or an earthquake. It's just a new experience for me and I find natural phenomena like this pretty interesting. But I am aware that they can be quite destructive and devastating. In my entire life, I've experienced one earthquake. It was the biggest one in Finland for like a hundred years and it felt like a particularly noisy snow plow driving by. The movement was just a tiny bit different than the tremor a plow makes, that's why I guessed it was an earthquake. Many people didn't even notice. Our cat was lying on the floor on his back, half-asleep, and I think he lazily blinked one eye and looked at us with condescension. He wasn't impressed.

Whether or not we're having a typhoon, we've had a lot of rain. So much rain. Constant, annoying, really, really wet rain. It's weird how people like to say that Finland is a gloomy, rainy country but nobody ever says that about Japan. It can be really rainy and gloomy here! Plus when you don't have a car and the rain is really pouring down, you can't really get out of the house without getting wet. Yesterday I think I spent the entire day inside the house, just eating and napping and eating and then napping again, because dammit, it's my time to be really lazy! I'm sort of on a vacation. Well, I feel a bit guilty about having two naps in one day, though. There was just nothing else to do and the weather made me so useless.

I was hoping my nemeses, the icky spiders, would all be washed away by the rain. But no, that particular childhood story was a lie, just like so many others. The spiders just hang in their webs, swinging around loosely, probably getting the massage of their life. Die, you bastards, die! I'm so done with huge spiders. One tried to get inside the house to shield itself from the rain and nope, just nope. It was a huge, hideous white thing and so big I was afraid to shoo it away even with a mop or something. I just imagined it jumping on my face. I can't believe I've been living with huge ass spiders for over two weeks now.

Yesterday we also had a cockroach in the house, it was probably running away from the rain too. It was in Charlotte's room and she ran out screaming. Of course I run in, all cocky and brave and end up screaming my head off too when I see a damn huge cockroach scuttling about. In the end Preema was brave and gassed it to death. God, these bugs. They're incomprehensible to me. Last night I could hardly sleep, listening to every single crack and rustle the house makes, thinking about all sorts of horrible leggy things planning to climb all over me the moment I shut my eyes. And believe you me, an old, wooden house will really make a lot of scary rustling sounds in humid rain.

I feel the Japanese people don't really much care about rain. There they are, just walking outside with their umbrellas, going about their business just like nothing would be happening. I guess they've had to get used to it, or maybe it's different for them. They're not under the pressure to make everyday here count. The rain is particularly annoying when you'd actually want to go outside and see things and do something new everyday. I feel it's wasting my time. Though in a way it also gives me an excuse to just rest my bones.

So, it remains to be seen if we'll be seeing some of Malakas. It's been raining pretty much non-stop for 48 hours now and it doesn't seem to be getting better. The wind hasn't really picked up, but there have been a few stronger gusts of wind. Sometimes, I hear this weird howling, but maybe it's just the neighborhood dogs and not the typhoon. If it's coming, I hope it'll pass quickly. My exhibition will be this Saturday and Sunday and I should start getting ready. I don't want to carry my prints around in the rain, or even walk around in the rain, at all. Somehow in here, if I go out in the rain, I always end up with wet socks.


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