One common weather pattern in Taipei that you can never get enough of is the torrential rain that can often make you soaking wet in a matter of seconds. While the unpredictability of such weather pattern is surely notorious among residents and regular visitors, it is fair to say that you can never claim to have lived in Taipei unless you experienced a few of these annoying yet at sometimes refreshing rains.
Don’t get me wrong though. In most cases, these torrential rains are what I try my best to avoid in the past 4 years living here, simply because it not only complicates your plan, but also the feeling of being drenched with water from head to toe in a few seconds can easily spoil your mood for the rest of the day. In order to be fully prepared for such accident, I have learned that an umbrella is the best protection in case of being caught in sudden downpours. However, there are times when an umbrella can’t even shield you from the amount of water pouring down the sky, and in those situations, you can only accept that today’s just not your day.
With that being said, rainy days in Taipei can sometimes provide the best occasions for unexpected trips or capturing the other side of Taipei’s beauty. One such occasion for me happened on a rainy afternoon in March, 2014. I had long wanted to explore Maokong and experienced the gondola ride that had become one of the fixed items on guidebooks. Unfortunately, I picked a drizzling day and as I was lamenting about the misfortune, I was soon distracted by the foggy yet rather poetic scenery below me. As the gondola gradually climbed up the mountain range, the blurry view through the thick fog formed a naturally photogenic scene, and I couldn’t stop snapping away with my camera.
That was one way to appreciate rainy days in Taipei, and the trick to make it refreshing is to choose the right perspective. There are ways to cope with dampness, especially when it is an integral part of one’s Taiwanese experience. To dislike it is to make our own lives more difficult than it already can be, and in order to look beyond the unpleasant part, you have to find ways to minimize the uncomfortableness. Focusing on the scenery that you can only get on rainy days is one way, as it offers us a new perspective to appreciate this city that often times, can be just as gloomy as London.
If going out to explore is not your forte on rainy days, Taipei has plenty of cozy cafes where you can enjoy a day of quiet reading. In short, the notorious rainy days in Taipei may just be as eventful and interesting as its good weather days. It’s all about the perspective.