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C.’s grandma had a little accident at home a few days ago and she fell and broke her hip. She had surgery on Friday and currently stays in the hospital.


I went to visit her on Saturday. In China, you don’t really get a single room in a hospital unless you go to a private one and are ready to part with a good chunk of money. So, Grandma stays in a room with 3 other elderly ladies. When we enter the room, several other relatives are there already. Among them, C.’s cousin and his girlfriend, who is Indonesian.


My arrival caused a small commotion in the room.


“Are you a foreigner? You look like a foreigner”, one of Grandma’s roommates said.


“Of course she’s a foreigner”, someone told her.


I am not really used to rain in the summer. Spain is dry and sunny during this season. During the 3 years I spent in Beijing I only remember it rained once in June (it wreaked havoc, of course. Beijing gets flooded when it rains moderately and that time it rained a huge amount in a very short period of time). It rained during my summers in Suzhou but I had the company car to go to the office so I never really got soaked. Now that I live close to the office but still have to walk for 10 minutes is when I am truly feeling this rainy season.


That time in Beijing it poured cats and dogs in just 15 minutes. We were at the end of the semester ceremony and when it finished and prepared to go back to the dorm, the water was up to our ankles. The cleaning ladies started handing huge trash bags so we could at least reach the dorm building!


After getting my sport shoes completely wet two days in a row I decided I needed to do something about it. I did as I saw the Chinese were doing, and I went out in my flip flops. Yes, your feet will be wet, but at least your shoes won’t be ruined! There are 3 kinds of shoes Chinese people will wear when it is raining a lot: rain boots (I used to have them when I was a child), plastic shoes and plain flip flops. With the flip flops I feel it is too wet so I wanted to buy plastic shoes in Taobao. I didn’t have to though, because just yesterday I inherited a pair from my friend Miss Y, who is leaving Shanghai. She gave me a lot of things!


The main form of transportation for many Chinese people is the electric bike. Do they give up on riding it when it rains? Well, maybe some of them do, but the braver ones use a plastic poncho kind of thing to cover themselves and ride the storm.


Luckily this rainy season (called in Chinese 梅雨, plum rain) is quite short, at most it lasts for 2 or 3 weeks.


Do you have a rainy season where you live? How do you cope with it?