Who says that Hong Kong lacks natural beauty? The city's epic late-night thunderstorms make for great therapy and theatre
Today, I’m musing over Hong Kong thunderstorms, and if you don’t find them quite as romantic as me, then indulge me as I try to twist your arm on the subject.
You see, I crave sleep more than most people. I’m obsessed with it, and many have often joked that my ability to fall asleep is my superpower–though personally, I want a better super hero name than Captain Zzzzs. When I was little, I would fall asleep anywhere. I’d fall asleep over dinner, in the car, and every week in church during the homily–much to my mother’s dismay. As I got older, I started sleeping in lectures in uni, and got very good at sleeping in shows: from Verdi to Vivaldi, I’ve slept through them all.
In Hong Kong, however, shut-eye has often eluded me, perhaps because of the light pollution, perhaps the small spaces I’ve called home, but for some reason, my superpower has waned somewhat in The 852, making a successful night’s sleep exceedingly precious.
Hong Kong thunderstorms: the gods know how to party
In fact, there’s only one thing that I will tolerate waking me up mid-slumber nowadays, and that’s a wonderful Hong Kong thunderstorm: the type that illuminates your entire bedroom. There’s just nothing better than being awoken to, what I imagine must be similar to the sound of the gods having orchestra practice in the skies after one too many ouzos. Zeus clangs the cymbals loudly, as Helios and Selene take to the drums to proffer the resounding bass; I don’t know why it’s the Greek gods who frolic at night over Hong Kong in my mind, but whoever they are, they must be having fun.
And all this happens, if you’re lucky, in the sky right above your head, as you’re tucked up in your Ikea duvet, all cosy like a caterpillar. I think it’s the outdoor/indoor contrast that really helps to heighten the romance of these Hong Kong thunderstorms.
To make things even better, my apartment has corrugated iron covering part of the terrace, so as the rain falls down heavily from every direction, the cacophony intensifies against the metal, creating some of the most melodic theatre you could ever encounter. It’s no wonder that many people use rain and thunderstorm sound effects to help lull them into the land of zzzs, but for me it’s one of the few shows that I can actually stay awake for.
These storms during the day though are a completely different story, especially when one is trying to get from A-B. Between work hours, they are a sodding nuisance that provoke numerous expletives and see many an umbrella lost. And while I’m totally over the daytime rain that has seemingly been never-ending of late, I can’t wait for the next epic night thunderstorm to take the stage above the city. Until then, if you need me I’ll be napping on the office couch.