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Not the Biggest Rain Ever
by Frank
April 20, 2009


It wasn’t the biggest rain ever in Beijing, but it was really the one that gave the biggest trouble to Beijingers.

It was a typical summer late afternoon—hot, humid, stuffy, and windless. After we had dinner at my mom’s home, my wife and I got ready to drive home.

“It will rain soon,” my mom said. “You can wait till the rain stops and go home.”

“It is not necessary,” I replied. “By this time, the rush hour is over. Besides, the rain may last an hour, and I will get home within 30 minutes.”

“Ok, drive carefully and remember to phone me when you get home,” my mom said.

“Ok,” I answered while we got into our car.

As we pulled out of my mom’s neighbourhood, the rain poured down. My mom’s home lies to the north of the city and mine to the south.

There are several ways that lead to my home.

“Which way is better?” I asked my wife.

“I think the west third circle road may be better,” my wife answered.

As we moved into the third circle road, my wife turned on the radio to spend the time. “Is there some traffic information? It looks like a little bit jam on the road.” I asked.

“Oh, I am not sure. Let me see,” my wife replied. After a few minutes she said: “Ah, here we are.”

Just then the voice on the radio announced: “Because of the heavy rain, there is a serious problem at the Liuli flyover of the third road. One bus has been submerged under the water and the passengers have had to swim out. And the west third circle road has been totally blocked. Please select the other route.”

“My God, it is unbelievable! The passengers must swim out?” I said. “So, as the west third circle road is not available, how can we get there?

Before we reached a conclusion, we knew that almost all main roads that lead to our home had been blocked by water. In the next several hours, all we could do is follow the traffic information to find an available way to approach our home little by little--turning left and right constantly, long time waiting at the intersections and looking at hundreds passengers getting off the bus and selecting to walk home.

The rain lasted nearly four hours and it took a longer time for police and workers to reduce the traffic. After five hours driving, I arrived at my home at last at nearly midnight.

I picked up the phone and said to my mom: “Hi, mom, do you know what? I just got home!”