With the build-up well and truly here and the wet season now imminent I thought it was appropriate to publish this email that I received a little while ago.

Here is a piece I recently came across by a guy who was in Viet Nam. It wasn’t so much fun for most of us, especially those guys doing jungle duty. Guess this goes with the photo I sent a few days ago.

Thanks for letting me impose on your good nature. I know these things were before your time but I offer them as perspective.


A tension in the air so strong
The stillness rolling in, about to break
A heave vibrancy that clings to your nerves
Like a lingering, almost forgotten, headache

The sky cracks with tension, unnaturally silent
And then the rain begins to fall
A silver curtain of water coming down
Blocking all view, a vaporous wall

Torrential down pour sends up sprays of mud
In the red dust of the street
A drummer gone crazy, pounding out the rhythm
Of Mother Natures wildest beat
The company street, flowing like a river
I cross, to go for a beer
The newbies are running, trying to stay dry
It’s the first storm of the year

Immediately soaked through to the skin
The second I step through the door
Mud over boot tops, water dripping in eyes
The rains continue to pour

The club looks like it’s full of drowned rats
Puddles forming under every chair
Little streams running off from our feet
We drink, in that hot, humid air

Our clothes we can never get dry
For nine long days, non-stop
We just suffer along through it
As the rains continue to drop

Then suddenly it has ended
Steam raising all around
The air afterwards is clear
Water running off the ground

We stand there in the brightness
Of a glaring hot sun at noon
Glad that this is over for now
This bitch we call Monsoon

Copyright April, 2000 by Stanley E. Hutchinson. All rights reserved

5 responses to “MONSOON

  1. Michael Hare

    I certainly hope the wet season is imminent. I have been watering my lawn and garden for 7 months now since early October. The only decent rain during that time was on April 9. Nothing since, though in other parts of Ubon it has rained, especially out at the university.

    The ten average rainfall for Ubon is 1500 mm. So far this year has seen a very slow start to the rains. Normally we can expect about 200 mm for May. Last year we got 90, 2008 235, 2007 255, 2006 65. Maybe this May is going to be like last year and 2006-that is dry. Back in 2000 we got nearly 500 mm in May. The Mun river flooded 3 years in a row then-2000, 01 and 02. Cars could not travel between Ubon and Warin.

    Farmers are starting to worry that maybe 2010 is going to be a drought year. I certainly hope not.

    • Thanks for those stats, I have always been interested as to what the average rainfall was around here. You must have jinxed the ‘drought’ though by posting that as yesterday we had some nice rain (not much) and there is another storm brewing as I type!

  2. Michael Hare

    Correction. ten YEAR average rainfall

  3. Michael Hare

    There was a lot of rain at my house so no watering for at least a few days.

    At about 7 pm, when the rain was over, I went out to see how many leaves and rubbish had piled up outside my gate and fence on the road. I was greeted by a huge branch that had crashed down from the tree out on the road. So I got my saw and trimmed it up and piled all the rubbish into the back of my pickup. The locals just stared and said how hard-working the farang was.

    When I came back inside I went behind my garage and there was another huge branch balancing across my neighbours fence. I decided to get the branch into my section, but because the fence was high, I needed a ladder to reach up. As I pulled it to across it suddenly came with a rush, pushed me back off the ladder into my lime tree which broke my fall back down on to the concrete. Lime trees have very large thorns which pierced my back. That was a minor problem though. There were numerous red ant nests in the lime tree and I had red ants in my hair, under my shirt and into my crouch biting you know where.

    I really needed the rain but not the extra excitement.

    • Michael, I apologise in public now to you because I must admit I did laugh after reading your adventures after the rain the other day! You described it so well that I could picture everything perfectly. I could especially imagine the locals looking on in bewilderment! I sincerely do hope you pulled up okay and were not hurt too much.

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