“Typhoon, what is a Typhoon?” I thought when I read my project manager's email communicating to the international students that Typhoon Sinlaku was to hit Taiwan Friday September 12th, 2008. In her email our project manager advised us to take care and to buy plenty of food and water for the weekend because almost every store and restaurant was closed on Typhoon days.

As I continue reading our project manager's email I realized that a typhoon was what we know in the Western as a hurricane and I immediately felt panic for what will happen to us because I remember hurricane Mitch; a very strong hurricane that practically destroy my country; Honduras Central America in October 1998.

My roommate Candy and I looked at the sky through our window, dark clouds cover Neyli's sky, rain was starting to fall and strong winds moved the trees. At that moment I began to feel fear as the winds began to whistle and howl outside our dorm. Flashbacks of hurricane Mitch came to our minds and we remembered all the terrible things that happened to some of our friends and family ten years ago.

We decided to listen to our project manager's advice and went to the 7-11 store next to our dorm that Friday evening. Getting to the 7-11 was quite an experience; usually nothing extraordinary will happen to us on our way to the store, but that evening trying to get there was quite challenging, the wind kept messing with our umbrellas and we almost got blown away.

Our typhoon survival kit consisted of what was left in the7-11. Back at our empty dorm- all of our neighbors went to their home towns for the moon festival celebrations - we realized that all we had was junk food, no water, no candles or flashlights, like our project manager and probably our mothers will have advised us. We could picture ourselves days later, alone in a corner of our dorm, hungry and without water waiting for help.

Late in the afternoon the wind whistle and howl loudly as it could, leaving my roommate and me with fear. We were so afraid that we didn’t dare to leave the dorm for our welcome party organized by our university. Around six o’clock the wind reached its most frightening point, and then it just howled through the night.

Fortunately Saturday came and we went to a nearby supermarket and bought plenty of supplies to survive our first typhoon. This time we bought more significant things than the first day we went shopping including a flashlight, an UNO cards, and of course water and food. As we wonder around the store we discovered that Taiwanese people still move around and go shopping even in the worst circumstances, but, we didn’t know that the day before so we stayed at our dorm praying that stores will be open the next morning.

Saturday storm was very intense, so we spend the day watching movies and playing games while the wind howl and the rain fell violently outside. Finally Sunday arrived and by the time the sun came up the winds were diminishing and life was getting back to normal. Everything was fine, our room wasn’t torn apart and we weren’t sitting in the corner of our room waiting for help.

Its typhoon season so I guess I know now what to expect. Once you have taken all safety precautions, you can make the best out of your time stuck indoors. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your roommate and friends so try not to sit around all day playing with the computer until you have turned square eyes and have bad headaches!

I have listed some entertaining options you can do during the typhoon to pass the time and have some fun while the rain is gone:

Buy some board games: Buy at your local store games like UNO, Twister or Monopoly and enjoy a friendly board game competition with your roommates and neighbors. To spice it up you can always raise the stakes by making bets on dorm chores for when the storm is over. For example the loser has to wash dishes for the next two nights, or the winner gets to relax for a week without cleaning, it makes for a more competitive atmosphere and will make time pass much faster.

Play Charades Have everyone write down in small pieces of paper professions, characters, movies, etc. and place them into a bucket. Each dorm member takes a piece of paper from the bucket and acts out what is on the paper. It's free and you don't need many materials to have hours of fun.

Read a Good Book This is a pastime that never gets old, Lose yourself in a book by your favorite author and it will be sunny before you know it.


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