Something I’ve had to get used to in my two years of island living is the difference in seasons. For my entire life I’ve been accustomed to your standard spring, summer, autumn and winter. Island seasons are somewhat simpler. We have “rainy season” (also known as Hurricane Season) and “the rest of the year”.
I thought in my naivety that moving to the Caribbean would mean wall-to-wall sunshine. I was wrong. I can confirm that Grand Cayman receives its fair share of wet weather at this time of year. As a resident of Manchester for 10 years I was used to grey skies and lots of rain, but the rain here is a somewhat different experience.
For one thing, because the rains are so heavy and there isn’t that much drainage here, the roads quickly start to turn into rivers and roundabouts gets so slippy driving anywhere becomes somewhat of a daredevil sport. This is compounded by the fact that nobody wants to get wet, so suddenly about 3 times the amount of cars appear on the roads as if from nowhere, most of whom are driven by people who are so shocked by the appearance of rain that they forget how to drive.
Water outside the cars is not the only problem. My car; my roommate’s car; several of my friends cars all leak when it rains heavily. Currently the passenger footwell of my Lancer resembles a paddling pool! All the seats are damp and the whole inside smells musty; add to that the fact that my car doesn’t have AC so to have any relief from the humidity the windows need to be down, which in the middle of an island downpour is the last thing you want! Also the motor in the driver’s side window needs fixing as it often decides that once it’s down, it will not go back up. I regularly get soaking wet even on short journeys at the moment. So honestly the whole experience of driving anywhere in the rain is massively unpleasant.
Cars leaking in the rain is one thing – you would think though that once you’ve made it to your destination you can at least dry off? Not a guarantee. My teaching room at school has often sprung a leak in the ceiling, forcing me to relocate to a room with a smaller chance of electrocution. Apparently when the rains get really bad the schools have to close because the parents can’t get in to collect their children and the staff can’t get home! It’s not happened yet but I predict it will at least once this month! Rain seriously gets everywhere here. We were putting on the show Annie Jr this week and even the inside of the theatre wasn’t safe! Buckets and bins were put out everywhere to catch drips from various leaks in the ceiling (always fun to avoid when you’re maneouvering awkward props and bits of scenery).
Today for me is thankfully a day off so I can get away with staying dry in my house and cosying up with Netflix – at least until my crossfit class and Grease dress rehearsal later on! As I type the rain is lashing against the windows and massive thunder claps are shaking the walls. I never thought I’d be thrilled to be spending the day inside whilst living here. Bring on the end of the rainy season so I can get back to the beach.