Posted by: Sarah | August 12, 2006

Torrential cannot even begin to describe it…


Pause. iPod is turned off as I notice the black clouds beginning to gather menacingly outside the bus window. There is a change in the air. I know what this means. Time is quickly running out. Still closer to the university than I am to my apartment, there is no way that I will make it to the bus stop before the storm begins, let alone survive the 4 block walk from that point to the front door of my apartment.

In the amount of time that it takes me to contemplate what I will do next, raindrops appear on the windshield of the bus. There is no time for indecisiveness. Within minutes, every taxi within the city limits will have been claimed instantaneously. Exito, the shopping center, should be my best bet. It is still two blocks away, which will be pushing it.

I lose.

The water level in the streets begins to rise as I yell for the bus driver to stop. As I run across the street, I grab my shoes off my feet. Barefoot is only slightly less dangerous than heels. Within 30 seconds, I am standing in the entryway, drenched, looking as if I dove into a lake without bothering to remove my clothing. The security guards smirk at all the fools caught off guard, who rush inside, soaked.

I head downstairs to the parking lot and give my address to the taxi driver. “Cuanto cuesta?” “5000”. It is never more than 4000. I do not even consider arguing. The storms are usually enough to double the price in a second. The journey begins.

We pull out into the street, where the flood waters are already becoming dangerously high. Every other block, we make an extra turn out of the way just to avoid the rivers rushing through the downhill slanting streets. I make small talk with my cab driver and tell him how the first time I had seen it rain in Barranquilla, I had never seen anything like it before in my life. He asks me if I got nervous when it rained. I laugh. “Of course not, it’s only rain..right?” I look outside at the water level rising above the bottom of all the cars and coming frighteningly close to my window. Well, maybe a little bit nervous.

Each time that we turn back in the right direction, the cabbie struggles to keep control of the vehicle, but more often than not, it isall he can do to make sure that we aren’t floating into any of the other cars around us. Garbage cans, tires, tree branches, and any other random loose object not cemented down sweep past us. The streets become more and more empty as cars, taxis, delivery trucks, and buses pull into driveways, parking lots, or anywhere else than can offer some chance of protection.

We manage to make it within one block of my apartment. I can see my building, yet know that there is no way we could turn directly into the flood on my street. The cabbie apologizes as he explains that we need to wait for a minute. A minute turns into 10. I watch the waves crash around us, whirlpools forming in every direction. About 25 minutes after I had first gotten into the taxi for what is normally a 5 minute ride, I am dropped off at my front door. I race up to the gate, pound on the window for the doorman to buzz me in, and bolt inside.

When it rains, it pours. And you better get the hell out of the way because wherever you are, you will be stuck.



  1. wow

  2. ooogoodness chica

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