The other night we were out for dinner and went to leave. People were crowded around the door saying some word that sounded like Tsunami. We peeked through the crowd to see a wall of water just outside the door of the restaurant. Just below the stairs, the street had turned into a river. It subsided to a steady downpour after about 15 or 20 minutes, so we waded out to try to find out way home. Thank God a taxi pulled right up in the street, ankle deep in water. We got our shoes and pants wet, but got in. The driver started for home. The water started getting deeper and deeper. Ahead, we could see cars that were half-submerged. The driver floored the accelerator and never let up. When water started seeping onto the floor of the car, we knew we were in deep. A couple times it seemed like we would stall and have to get out in the middle of this road turned lake. But the driver kept on the throttle and found occasional traction – enough to get us through.
The next intersection was not so shallow. The police were turning people back and we saw one abandoned car with water up to its windows. Some cars were eaking along elevated sidewalks. The wind is still blowing rain so we stay and wait in the taxi, rather than trying to walk home wearing summer clothes in cold wind and rain. Finally our driver found some creative high-ground alternative routes to deliver us home. Thank God our house was dry, even though all our windows were open.
The next night we were invited over to a friend’s house for dinner. They served us Bodes, which are mutton meat dumplings, the most traditional Mongolian food. We had such a nice time playing games and talking that it was almost 10pm when we left. Getting out of the taxi near our home it seemed light unusually late. I saw a sliver of the setting sun, and checked the time to see it was 10 minutes after 10. These days it stays light late these days. It’s not Alaska, but the nights are short for these couple weeks…it’s only dark for 5 hours each night now…from 11:30pm to 4:30am.