Michaela Merz

It’s raining in New York

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The weather forecast for Thursday was frightening. Gale-force storm and rain. For someone like me, who grew up in the middle of Europe, far away from the sea, such storm is hard to imagine.

During the day I was sitting in the office and watched from the window in the 34th floor how the sky darkened, the visibility deteriorated and the surrounding sky scrapers disappeared behind a veil of rain. At times one did not see anything and it became gloomy. That’s how I imagine the limbo. The American colleagues seemed very relaxed and did not take notice of the spectacle outside. The British colleague, whose flight was supposed to depart at 9 o’clock in the evening, was worried whether he would be leaving at all. He worriedly monitored the news from the airline and his fears seemed to confirm when he told us late in the afternoon that his flight would only depart at three o’clock in the morning.

Suddenly the sky lightened, the curtain of rain disappeared and for the first time on this day bright blue sky appeared. We had finished. I said goodbye and walked through the unusually fresh but cold early evening to my hotel. Before that, I had to go to the Time Square to Toys R Us, to fetch a small present for my youngest one. Outside it had become warmer and the sky darkened slightly again. I walked straight to the toy shop and quickly found the right present.

Now I wanted to return to the hotel. But dear me. The rain had returned. And what a rain. As if a hosepipe had gone wild, throwing water in all directions. In front of the shop were two vendors selling umbrellas and rain capes. The salesmanship of these people is really amazing. The turnover enormous. Credit cards were not accepted. In their hands large bundles of dollar bills. I bought a rain cape for 5 dollars, put it on and quickly went to the hotel. The rain cape only covered me until my knees and within no time my trousers from the knees downwards were wet. Small rivers were flowing through the streets and as a pedestrian one could not avoid them. Only now I understood why so many locals were wearing flip-flops.

Water is seeping through the shoes and flip-flops have the advantage that it can just flow through. In closed shoes like mine, little ponds were building up, which made it hard to move on.

Rain cape or not, within short time I was wet like after taking a shower. The New Yorkers obviously did not mind. There are still friendly and convivial.

And despite gale-force storm, New York is not too bad with rain.

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