It was sunny during the first 5 weeks of the London program, and the weather was crisp with mild coolness. People say that I am very lucky that it didn’t rain most of the time that I have spent in London. It only just started to rain almost every day this past week.
To me, rain is very soothing. Rain in London somewhat reminds me of the monsoon season in Thailand. I genuinely indulge in moments like sitting in my Pickwick room with the windows open and reading a book whilst the rainy breeze touches my face. My creative juices just flow when it’s raining. There’s just something about writing and looking at the rain dropping on the leaves of trees and listening to the sound of rain clattering on roofs that just make me feel serene. It is so relaxing, especially the smell of ground after rain, referred to as petrichor.
People in London are miserable. Even without rain, people already don’t smile and look stressed out as they rush from one place to another. Now with rain, people look even more miserable.
Another down side of rain, of course, is the wetness that you involuntarily get. There are puddles on the streets where buses drive by splashing pedestrians with mucky water. Before writing this blog, I was splashed by a bus.
Going to Hyde Park after the rain is such a good experience. It was a little humid but cooling from the evaporation. And animals come out after the rain. Guess what… I encountered a squirrel! We became friends 🙂 Since the floor was still wet from the rain, I had to lay my jacket down before going on the floor for a more intimate talk with the squirrel.
In Hyde Park, Nathaniel Chew ’19 even wondered why the crow had to drink from a small, dirty puddle in the middle of a walking path when there’s a ginormous lake in the middle of the park. Well, accessibility is key, right? Rain just connects everything. Water is liquid and flows fluidly. Water becomes the shape of anything that it fills. And the water cycle is proof that we use the same waters that the dinosaurs did. How cool! In the end, and from the beginning, we’re all connected! So why all the arguments and warfare? We’re all going to die anyway. And then the water from our bodies will evaporate and go through the water cycle all over again.
Another great thing about rain is that people don’t really use their phones when they are walking. That means that less people bump into each other, yay!
Rain in London is great. The trees are lush green, and rain clears a portion of the air pollution into the drains. So many people in London smoke everywhere on the streets. When I am outside, I stop breathing for a few seconds every few steps just to not inhale second-hand smoke. Smoke from cars and cigarettes are more visible in the rain, but sadly it doesn’t all get drained before it reaches people’s noses.
I have a liking for droplets of rain so much that at one point in my childhood I invented characters that are rain-drop shaped with stick arms and legs and smiley faces. Rain does have its own character in different places. In London, rain mostly comes in drizzles and showers within long intervals. In Bangkok, where I grew up, rain mostly comes as thunderstorms for short amounts at a time. People don’t usually go out and walk in the heavy rain in Bangkok.
People like to stay inside when it rains. It’s cozy! It’s also a good time to spy on the neighbors (just make sure they don’t spy on you, too).
-Proud Chanarat ‘19