I had to go into Tokyo yesterday to meet up with someone, right around the time that Typhoon No. 10 was passing through the Kanto region. As I was reaching for the umbrella upon leaving the house, Naoko said imi nai j’aan, which in this instance means something like “it won’t have any meaning.” She was referring to the fact that the strong wind would pretty much render the umbrella useless, not to mention that I might actually ruin the umbrella if the right gust got a hold of it. So naturally I followed her wisdom in such matters.
Nevertheless, when it started pouring as I was putzing around some Shinjuku camera shops waiting for said appointment, I was cursing myself for listening to her, for in that area there was nary any wind, yet plenty of rain. Oh well, a little rain never hurt nobody. It was later, however, as I sipped coffee at the Starbucks at the New South Exit of Shinjuku station, along a pedestrian walkway that even on a balmy clear day can approximate a wind tunnel, that Naoko’s wisdom showed itself.
I lost track of how many umbrellas bit the dust along that walkway during the time I was sitting there. I have to say I did feel a bit of sadistic glee as I watched the parade of people walking by, almost absent-mindedly carrying their umbrellas, knowing full well that just 100 feet or so down the walkway they were going to meet a furious crosswind and that they were headed for a Mary Poppins moment. And I have to say that watching it all, I did feel a bit of smugness with my received wisdom that in a typhoon, umbrellas have no meaning.
When I got home, the typhoon had more or less passed, and in its wake was left the most glorious rainbow I’ve probably ever seen. In fact, ever so briefly, there was a double rainbow, as you can see in the photo below. I saw many rainbows growing up in Hawaii, but I’m hard-pressed to remember ever seeing a double rainbow before.
(Click on the top umbrella image and cycle forward through yesterday’s images, or click on the double rainbow image and cycle backwards.)