Musim hujan – rainy season. Wettest we have ever seen it, and friends who have been here much longer than us say the same. Flooded roads make the usual traffic jams ten times worse. It took an hour to cross Ubud on Monday evening.
Previous rainy seasons were predictable: lovely mornings, gathering clouds around lunch time, heavy rain for a couple of hours after 2pm, humidity as things dry out and maybe rain during the early hours again. But now it comes at any time and for much longer. Relentless in the past 24 hours. The garden is flooded but it hasn’t stopped Bapak turning up to sweep and collect leaves.
This dear old man, father of our landlord, has come at 7am every day we have been here. That’s more than three years. Today he is in his wellies, umbrella raised and business as usual, except that the cats have decided that today sleeping is a better option than trotting after him, playing with the sweepings.
Rain also means mosquitoes. And mosquitoes can mean illness, so covering up is essential. Dengue fever doesn’t seem as bad as last year’s outbreak, not yet. At least 40 deaths were reported in 2016 and many more people affected. So prevention and common sense is foremost on our minds in this damp. Eddie has had a taste and it’s not pleasant. Fluids, rest, daily blood tests and traditional Balinese remedies (papaya leaf extract, fresh guava juice and a particular honey) saw the crisis over in a week. The papaya leaf extract is truly foul, but effective.
We don’t want dengue, and we don’t want any more rain. As the nursery rhyme says: Rain, rain, go away …