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The Weather and the Seasons

It can take quite some while for expat newcomers to get acclimatized to their new host town of Guangzhou. Our local contributor offers valuable tips to help you make heads and tails of life in this southern Chinese megalopolis.

The Very Wet Season

“This is unusual for this time of year,” Chinese colleagues told me. “It should be rain but not storms like this.”

I have never seen storms like this. They have been occurring for several weeks now, crackling and flashing. Some of them have lasted for hours and given us entertaining if somewhat restless sleeps.  I have stared out of my apartment window, up at the cranes and blinking heights of the highest skyscrapers, waiting for the frequent bursts of lighting to strike. The thunder and rain are so resinous, wanting to pound the city into dust – revenge for this mass of concrete being yanked up out of former fields and hills.

Around 8am and 3pm seems to be a peak activity time, with a furious deluge that would worry Noah. I have never known the storm clouds to be so thick and suffocating that they darken the sky and turn the day into an early night.  It is beautiful to watch the battling water. I won’t forget seeing a grumbling grey storm roll overhead, turning Golden Lake black while the city skyline remained distantly bathed in yellow light. That is until the sinking clouds and rain obscured the view.

Only a golf umbrella is going to stand a chance of keeping you dry, so many locals resort to waterproof plastic ponchos. They trudge and cycle on regardless, wading through the ankle deep surging waters that must be swilling with dirt, effluence and acidic contributions from the air pollution; all destined for the Pearl River. Just as quickly as they come, the storms pass and in a few hours this flood-prone city on the river delta has dry streets and pavements again, ready for the next storm. I’m a wet MJF, this is a damp Guangzhou and that’s 303 words.


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Sean Henderson

"Looking for an appartment on InterNations, I met the expat community in Canton. Now I am sharing a house with another member."

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