Typhoon Bolaven

I come from earthquake country.  This is not to brag.  I detest earthquakes.  If I never feel another one, it will be fine by me. But it is one of two reasons why I had a hard time getting “in the mood” for Typhoon Bolaven.

When an earthquake comes, you either have an emergency kit, water, and rations, or you don’t.  There is none of this anticipation, waiting, watching the news (or in our case, Facebook feed), worrying, wondering, and so on and so forth.  It comes, it devastates, you deal with it.
The other reason is that I come from the desert where we tend to make too big of a deal about storms.  (This is an embarrassing story: I went to upstate New York for a wedding one summer when I was in my early 20s. I honestly said aloud,  “Hey!  It’s really green!  In the summer!”)  But I digress.  
When there is a storm in desert-y Southern California, all the news teams begin STORM WATCH.  Go ahead, say it out loud with a deep booming voice.

Is STORM WATCH an actual thing in other places?  Because to So Cal it is pretty much a joke. The weather desk gets really excited because finally there is something to report besides “Sunny with highs in the 70/80s”. (I know, I know, you hate me, don’t you?  Wait, don’t hate me!  I don’t actually live there anymore! Pity me!  Pity, I say!)

The other So Cal residents then get really pumped about all the rain because California is in a perpetual drought, but ohmygoodness the freeways will be flooded, and darnit why isn’t there better public transportation, and oh heck maybe just maybe I’ll take the day off work.  

Usually STORM WATCH culminates in some rain, minor flooding, traffic (big surprise) and a whole lot of letdown.  Honestly, the most dramatic effects are usually the newscasts.
Which may explain my complete lack of enthusiasm for Typhoon Bolaven.  First of all, did you know that a typhoon is just a hurricane?  Sheesh.  I mean, not that hurricanes are anything to sneeze at.  I KNOW they ruin lives and kill people and destroy homes and do terrible things all across the other parts of the U.S.  No disrespect to the hurricanes or the victims thereof.  
But why the exotic name? Why “typhoon”? It confuses us Californians, makes us (ok, actually it’s probably just me) think something more than devastating wind and rain may be coming.  Perhaps the ocean itself will rise and come inland (possibly in the shape of a funnel cloud?) in some sort of super-combination hurricane/tsunami/tornado?  Not that I ever thought that.  Oh, no definitely not me. But some other poor uneducated schmuck may have missed the weather portion of fourth grade and never quite caught on to these foreign weather systems.
Anyhoo, a typhoon is a hurricane by a different name, because it is in a different location.  Check it out on Wikipedia if you want, but I’m warning you, it is really pretty boring.
Residents of Daegu did not seem to care about Typhoon Bolaven.  Inside sources (er, my friends) told me it was nothing to worry about.  Schools delayed their start times (the storm was supposed to be closest to us at 9 a.m.), but there was, it seemed, the opposite of STORM WATCH.  No freaking out, no disaster-cometh drama… just, for the most part, business as usual.

(If I am being completely forthright, you should know that I am basing the entire paragraph above on 1) the opinions of two friends and 2) my observations of the Korean people on the street.  Not exactly scientific, I know.  Whatcha gonna do?)

In contrast, I was getting U.S. Facebook notifications up the wazoo about disaster preparedness, emergency plans, water storage, storm tracking.  It was almost like… Facebook’s version of STORM WATCH,  all over again!

Here is a video from about 9 a.m. Tuesday, when we were supposed to be feeling the worst effects of the storm:

To be fair: 1) it did get a lot windier and somewhat rainier later in the day, and 2) apparently folks on the south/east coast got the worst of it. See here for information about a shipwreck. Prayers for the lives lost, which I honestly did not know about until just right this second when I searched and found the link above.  Sheesh, now I feel terrible.  

In the end, it turned out alright for us Daegu-ans.  (Daegu-ites?) Kevin got the day off work, and we thoroughly enjoyed our impromptu family hang out day.

But don’t expect me to get in a lather for Typhoon Tembin, set to arrive tomorrow night.  If they’re not cancelling school, I barely care.


Head on over to Snapshots of a Sunday at Clan Donaldson.  You may even see a photo you recognize.  🙂


  1. I was cracking up reading this! Dave and I used to laugh so hard when we first moved to Cali from Michigan at the “storm watch” updates that dominated the news! Now, 9 years later, I find myself glued to the news when it starts to get cloudy:) But glad that it was uneventful for you guys there in Daegu!