Yesterday there was a big storm here. The rain battered down on the streets relentlessly for most of the small hours of the morning, accompanied by silent lightning that streaked so often it was like a strobe light. As I always do, I found a window to stand at, watching the white flashes reflect off the wet tarmac below. I’ve always liked storms, they give me goosebumps. I find something comforting about knowing that you’re dry and warm when a storm hits. In Beijing you get the extra added element of knowing that storms wash the pollution away, leaving clear blue skies for the following day.
The storm came just an hour or so after my last friend of six to leave in July set off to the airport. It also came on the last day of the month, making it feel as if the weather was signalling time for a new start.
I think I’ll listen to it this time around. I could mope around thinking about friends who’ve left, but I’m going to be optimistic and think about all the friends out there I haven’t yet met instead.