Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Two Seasons?

Seasons in Jakarta have taken some getting used to.  Indonesia is one of thirteen countries the equator passes through (Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia and Kiribati).  It's hot here.  It is rarely cool enough for a light zip up jacket (except at the movie theater) but always warm enough for air conditioning.

I was born and raised in a city in the Northern Hemisphere.  Not barely north of the equator, but Seattle.  Yes, just south of Canada.  Seattle is temperate in comparison to places like Boston, New York (which Seattle is north of latitudinally) or even Paris to some extent which is on the same latitude. Until a couple years ago it was rare to get snow in the city though we always got it in the mountains. Spring usually starts in March and lasts until June, summer when it's sunny daily and warm bordering on hot is from July to mid September, autumn is usually short running form Sept to October when the cold rain sets in for the winter.  Maybe not textbooks three month seasons with obvious differentiation, but enough to know when was what. 
Courtesy of  See how far north we are?
In Jakarta the seasons are (or are supposed to be) wet and dry.  Only two seasons per year, and not evenly divided at that.  When I arrived I was told that the wet season was January to May, give or take, and the dry season was the rest of the year.  Since then I've also been told that the wet season is December to March, October to February or November to April.  All I know is there is a wet season.  As per the rest of the world, the seasons seem to be changing due to climate change (which I prefer to the misnamed global warming).  The wet season seems to have been shorter this year, or I missed a bunch of it when I was enjoying the rain at home in Seattle.
Courtesy of  We've gone from this. . .
This week, Monday in fact, appears to be the start of the dry season.  The temperatures have spiked dramatically and the teachers are all glued in their seats in the air conditioned office.  It's sunny all day with out the usual afternoon thunderstorm.  I would love it except for two things; One - I am stuck in my school all day.  The rooms can get quite hot and the sun seems to wind the kids up.  Two - by the time I get home the sun is behind one of the two towers of my apartment and I can't even soak any of it up!  As someone who has always preferred the sun to the snow, this isn't what I mean.  Sweating home on the back of the motorcycle while dutifully wearing a jacket and jeans is not my idea of fun.
Courtesy of  To this!
My hope for the weekend is a bit of sun when I can enjoy it at the pool.  Fingers crossed. Of course, now that I've said something, I will have jinxed it and just like seeing the groundhog in February, we may have another six weeks of rain.

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