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Behind the Sea

Qian Qian's Diary

PART VII Posté le Mercredi 30 Novembre 2016 à 04h25

Can you believe that we are crying out for rain already, and anxiously scanning the clouds as they bank up over the high hills limited company in hong kong to the south-west? But so it is. It would be a dreadful misfortune if the real dry weather were to set in so early, and without the usual heavy downfall of rain which fills the tanks and spruits, and wards off the evil day of a short water-supply and no grass. Besides which, everybody here faithfully promises pleasanter weather—weather more like one’s preconceived idea of the climate of Natal—after a regular three days’ rain. It is high time—for my temper, as well as for the tanks—that this rain should come, for short stay apartments the slow, dragging summer days are now only broken by constant gales of hot wind. These same hot winds are worse than anything—more exasperating and more exhausting—nor does a drop of dew fall at night to refresh the fast-browning vegetation over which they scatter a thick haze of dust. Hot winds are bad enough in India, lived through in large, airy, lofty rooms, with mats of fragrant grass kept constantly wet and hung at every door and window—with punkahs and ice, and all the necessary luxury and idle calm of Indian life. What must they be here—and remember, the wind is just as hot, only it blows for shorter intervals, instead of continuously for months—in small houses, with low rooms of eight or ten feet square, and in a country where the trip to Hong Kong mistress of the house is head-cook, head-nurse, head-housemaid, and even head-coachman and gardener, and where a glass of cold water is a luxury only dreamed of in one’s feverish slumbers? Nature demands that we should all be lotos-eaters and lie “propt on beds of amaranth and moly”—at all events from November to April. 

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