rythmns of rain ::
it’s been raining a lot lately. Not drizzle rain or mist rain. But the sky turns into a sheet of water kind of rain that instantaneously turns the poorly engineered streets of Phnom Penh into a lake.
Tropical monsoon rains are just a part of life in Cambodia, and rainy season survival skills are something that every newcomer to Phnom Penh learns quickly.
Here are a few principles I’ve picked up in my first Cambodian rainy season:
Order in: Let someone else get wet. It puzzles me that Cambodia hasn’t figured out how to get clean water to a large percentage of its population, yet it has figured out how to deliver just about anything to anyone at anytime. In Phnom Penh, there is a magical book called the Door-2-Door guide which offers up about 30+ restaurants who will deliver anything on demand… from lattes to lahksa. Sometimes I feel too bad for the moto delivery guys to order a meal during a monsoon, but if you do, tip well.
Go out anyway: Cambodian rain has a way of trapping you wherever you are when it starts. As a newcomer you try to wait it out where you get stuck, but eventually you realize you can’t stay inside forever. You quickly learn which streets flood badly. You know the depth that your motorbike can make it through without stalling. You acquire a rainbow of 40 cent rain ponchos. And you just keep living even if you get wet.
Sing in the rain: Of course, there are days when you want the rain to stop, but for all your wishing you get no results. On these days, I’ve found, the best thing to do is to hole up, stay dry, and sing yourself to sanity. Not sure how Noah survived for 40 days of downpour before the iPod, but I’d bet he’d have liked some of these songs from my Monsoon Music playlist.
Random songs I’ve been humming to get through this rainy season:
Les Mis- a little fall of rain
Fire and Rain- James Taylor
Rainy Season- Marc Cohn
Purple Rain- Prince
Banana Pancakes- Jack Johnson
Raining in Baltimore- Counting Crows
Rain- Patty Griffin
When the Rainbow comes- Shawn Colvin
Rain- Rachel Loshak
Flood- Jars of Clay
Caught in the Rain- Martin Sexton
Couldn’t Stand the Rain- Mindy Smith
Somewhere over the Rainbow- Harry Nilsson
What are your favorite rain songs?