I long ago let loose any illusions of truth in Thai seasons, rainy or otherwise. I speak with my own observations as evidence, and there is certainly no human consensus to suggest that the weather is bound to anything except its own capricious whims. How flowers decide when to show their colorful faces; or vendors come into cyclical stashes of rambutan, mangosteen, and durian remains a mystery.
Over the course of a 10 minute drive it is not uncommon to marvel at the bluest of skies and most idyllic of clouds at the onset; only to have them usurped by a rainstorm so severe and abrupt the driver, should he or she at that moment be in the unfortunate position of commanding a motorbike, scarcely has time to stop safely and don the poncho that has taken a permanent residence in the bottom of the bike’s basket without becoming thoroughly soaked. It is equally likely that no sooner should the newly poncho-clad driver resume his or her mission, the storm gently taper from severe, to bearable, to nonexistent; the streets dampened, and the always-present humidity simply augmented from the residue of all the moisture to have suddenly made its way through the atmosphere.
Of course, if the driver is without poncho, the rain is sure to not only sustain itself, but to get dramatically worse throughout the course of the drive. Even at a necessarily slowed pace on the part of the motorbike, the water comes not in drops but pellets that ransack the eyes and skin with the impact of something seemingly solid; the stones of a thousand Davids being thrust upon Goliath as he teeters on the point of defeat; the piercing ends of a million bees who’ve taken up arms in defense of their queen. Upon arrival at his or her destination the driver will certainly experience surprise at not being covered in noticeable welts, but will come into newfound discomfort upon entering what’s sure to be an overly airconditioned room, where someone will either remark, “It is raining!” or “You are wet!”
Dogs go unwalked. Jogs go unjogged. Errands go unrun. Coffee and dinner dates get longer, internet gets slower, traffic gets scarier, boyfriends get grumpier because they’ve just planted new seeds again! Capitals flood and convenience stores nationwide (gasp!) go without beer. Though students are not forced to stand outside for morning assembly, they are forced to sit in the mud outside during their three-day camp at the waterfall, clapping along to their Scout leaders singing songs (an entry to look forward to).
But again– such episodes are no slaves to such sordid conventions as “seasons”! Don’t try to expect or not expect them because it may or may not be March or July or October or December, and some “Thai person” who should “know what they’re talking about” said it is or isn’t rainy season! Don’t think you’re, ahem, through the storm simply because you’ve had a week of glorious weather and had high hopes of a rain-free beach holiday on any given weekend! No. Run those errands when there’s the slightest sliver of blue sky, because it may be the last you get. Order that second cup of coffee but know there’s no guarantee of clear skies by the time you finish. Spend more than 50 baht on an umbrella because the cheap ones will turn inside out when you wave them threateningly at the evil bitch of a dog who doesn’t miss a chance to pick a fight with your puppy every time you walk by, and you will have to spend the remainder of the walk without its cover as you try to make things right again. And of course, keep that poncho where it belongs in the bottom of your motorbike basket.
But it’s also worth mentioning the sunny days are far from few and far between, and quite enjoyable when they do make their appearances.