There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
— Sir Rannulph Fiennes
When your only form of transportation is a bike, keeping dry in the rainy season on a tropical island takes a little more planning. Back home in Maine, I wouldn’t think much of a rainy day and would throw on a coat, possibly waterproof, and dart to my car, then a dry building. If it was sloppy enough, I might even wear my kicky blue rain boots. Only with camping do I ever think about my rain pants. In my haste to pack for Kwaj, I only brought the coat thinking this would be sufficient. Oops. But I made sure I had 3 swimsuits though. Yes, my priorities are in order!
At least work, home and food are all within about 1/2 mile of each other, but when a good tropical downpour can saturate your sensible work khaki’s in about 4.2 seconds, you still need a plan if you want to stay dry on the job. So, like a newly potty-trained kindergartner, I travel with an extra pair of pants, along with flip flops, a small towel, a plastic bag to cover my non-waterproof backpack.
If it’s raining I change in to the shorts and flip flops and just plan on getting wet, then pack the other pants and shoes in my pack and off I go. I hang up my raincoat, towel off, change back in to dry stuff, hang up or dry the shorts in the dryer. The pack travels with me just about everywhere so it almost always has these items stuffed in the bottom. The towel gets frequent use to dry the bike seat from the remnants of an earlier rain, avoiding the triangular shaped wet spot on my butt.
I see many people in a variety of rain gear, from the Marshallese lady who didn’t have her umbrella, so she made a coat out of a plastic bag, to others with full head-to-toe matching rain gear, to people I see riding while holding an umbrella. Getting wet is just part of your day in the rainy season. Storms can pass through quickly and not last long. If you get soaked, you’re likely not far from home and since it’s warm out so you’re not going to die of hypothermia. The worst weather I’ve seen was when the heavy winds along with the rain pushed against me to where I couldn’t pedal forward through the gusts. That was fun.
If I’m not trying to get somewhere where I want to be dry then I care a little less about all this. And I definitely can’t fuss about hair and make up here, not that I do anyway. It’s the price you pay, I suppose for all the beauty here.