Coming from Scotland, rain is hardly a new concept.
It’s not even a new concept for Florida. In the height of summer we’ve experienced thunderstorms that were of earth shattering intensity and an accompanying rainstorm that would certainly have washed away any hair wax or gel a poor oldie like me had put on to try to look more “spiky”.
Floridians are organised for thunderstorms. All of the theme parks either share of have their own storm ‘copters and, as the dark indigo clouds gather in the middle of the afternoons in July you know what’s coming. Coasters don’t generally run in the rain in Orlando because usually, rain is associated with thunder and electrical storms which ARE dangerous here. The sound you dread in a queue is not the sharp peal of thunder or the whip-like crack of the lightning, echoing round the buildings and rebounding from the steel coasters, the sound you hate most is the dull tones of the tannoy informing you of the “inclement weather” which invariably takes a further 20 minutes to break. You eventually become inured to the enforced delay. Some people leave the queue in the hope of finding some other activity that doesn’t involve or require electricity, most simply wait and adopt a more relaxed stance, knowing that their “doom” has been deferred by an hour or so.
Rain, when it does fall in Orlando, lasts a very short while. It rains for about 15 minutes and the ground is dry usually within about 10 minutes as the cloud evaporates and the blue South Atlantic skies and intimidating sunshine return as if nothing had occurred.
It was with sharp contrast then that we were enjoying our day out, on the way to the largest Mall for a little (more) therapy when the storm unleashed its power. The rain fell from the sky like it was actually falling from a bucket; great lumps of water. The storm drains on the roads are massive compared to our stanks but they didn’t cope well with the deluge and before long the small canals that used to be the roads were almost tidal as the trucks and cars drove along at a fair speed, almost oblivious of the water.
Eventually, having arrived at our destination, and the rain was still pouring down, we stopped in a car space and switched everything off. The rain didn’t go off. It abated a little and seeing my advantage rushed form the car the few hundred yards to the shop entrance. I got wet but the call of nature that urged me from the car was too strong and the prospect of a different kind of dampness was worse than getting soaked by the rain!
Once inside the safety of J C Penney’s, I was dry in minutes and the call of nature satisfied.
Shopping here we go – again….