Warnings in August 2007

I was wrong again. A couple of years ago, I wrote that Hangzhou only has two seasons between which were two very short periods of comfort. That’s not true. We have many seasons. Right now, it’s Sichuan Peppers on top of Mexican Chili season. You’re here. I don’t have to talk about how hot it is. Or maybe I will. We could call it Counterfeit Money season. I sweat so much that at least the first ten bills in my back pocket get so wet every taxi driver thinks they’re fake. When I don’t have more than ten bills in my pocket, I often take out my cash and dry it with the A/C on the journey to my destination. I’ve gotten some strange looks at that move. Then we have the stormy days could be another season in themselves. That monster breeze comes in, and everyone suddenly forgets any sort of frustration. Then the flood of rain comes down, and I kick myself for not carrying around an umbrella. Lightning crashes the tree limbs to the ground halting traffic.

We’ve got a bunch of other mini seasons. In August, we have the Fuchsia Lotuses on the Lake season. Then my all time favorite comes with the mooncakes (don’t tell me those things don’t taste good) and the Mid-Autumn Festival season, followed quickly by the Tidal Bore season. National Day season gives us time to relax and enjoy. West Lake Expo season brings in hoards of tourists. The Osmanthus Blooming season starts just before it gets cold. Then we have My Bone Marrow Has Turned into a Milkshake season. That season should be banned. New Year’s season fills us with food and drink, makes ears ring, and car alarms blare. Once again, I warn you guys not to listen to me. Hangzhou has many seasons. They keep the year exciting.

I love the I’m Able to Go Out Without Five Layers of Clothes season. I’m like a lizard on a midday rock. May Day season holds the only time when the weather is great and the mosquitoes are scarce. I miss it greatly only a few days later when A Mosquito Kept Me Up All Night season comes. We can land on the moon but still can’t get rid of those damn beasts. Plum Blossom season turns the lakeside purple. The Yangmei Are Perfectly Sweet season sees the streets streaming with peddlers, and then, well then it’s mid June, and it’s Show Your Belly it’s Getting Hot season. Dragon Boat season splashes some relief on it all. July is Why Haven’t I Planned a Holiday season, and then it’s August again. What was I talking about when I said there were only two seasons? I haven’t even included all the new holidays and special dates. I’m romantic every day. No need for Valentine’s here. We’ve got plenty of spicy things to do around here. Here’s to being seasoned.

By Tim Hoerle