Have you ever seen it rain for 26 hours straight? I have, and I’m just grateful I have been able to put a finite figure on it. Yes; it finally stopped this afternoon, at about 4:30pm. Had there been a bar anywhere near my office that might have served me up a celebratory glass of champagne, I would have head straight there after work. Not to be, so I hotfooted it home and poured myself a nice glass of wine. Sigh of relief. For a moment I thought this was Nanning summer and there was nothing more to be done. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was to become a waterlogged, wet rat with perennially pruned up skin and I was almost getting excited about it. Well, almost, when I wasn’t getting bitterly depressed and a bit cabin feverish too. Thankfully, the rain stopped, and we’ve just clocked up a full 6 hours rain free so things are looking up. It started yesterday, at about 2:30 in the afternoon. Well it actually started at about 9 o’clock that morning, but it had thankfully stopped for two hours around midday, which allowed me to pop out of the office on my lunchbreak to a strange lunch hosted by a bunch of large, white retired men who live in Nanning. Interesting-but that’s another story. So I get back to the office and not long after, the rain begins. It drags on all afternoon and I keep one hopeful eye on the window because I have dinner plans on the other side of town and I know my pushbike is going to be the best and fastest way to get there. One, two, even three hours later it carries on. By 6pm, when I finally gather the courage to don my poncho and head out, it has slowed to an unpleasant drizzle. A small mercy for which I am grateful. For a moment, I consider the bus but dismiss this option because a) it will take longer than riding and b) I have no distraction: no kindle, no iPod, nothing. All these luxuries left at home because I love my bike. So I head out, all the while thinking to myself: ‘it’s slowed right down, surely along my way it will stop altogether’. No such luck. It continues through a dinner of very Chinese tasting Vietnamese food and through the hour or so of post dinner conversation too. Damn. So on with the poncho again and back into the wet. All the way home and still no reprieve. The one good thing the rain has brought is slightly cooler temperatures, and I enjoy the fact that I can have a luke warm shower before bed, rather than an ice cold one as I have become accustomed to. I go to sleep to the hum of rain and I wake up to the hum of rain too. I walk to work accompanied by the hum of rain and the unnerving sound of screeching brakes and skidding tyres. All morning, all the way through lunch and ALL afternoon it carries on. I watch from my window and see the workers outside have given up any pretence of water-proofing themselves and given themselves over to my wet rat, pruned up skin description. And then it stopped, it stopped! If it weren’t for the funny sewage smell than is still emanating from my bathroom, it would almost be like it never happened at all. Yes, China may well be striving ahead in various advances like high-speed rail, investment in renewable energies and cutting edge architecture, but the plumbing, sewage and on-street drainage systems are stinking reminders that I am still in a developing country.