The rain splatters the street, reminding me for some dark reason of blood. One arm of my umbrella flops around uselessly like a broken limb, as I try to avoid the growing puddles in my path. My socks are damp inside my shoes. It’s Spring now – the season of rain and allergies. I don’t mind the former. The latter I could do without.
At least the semi-consistent showers chase some of the smog away, but sometimes when it rains the sewers belch up pretty foul fumes. I stare down through the grates as I pass them, into the underbelly of the city. More than once I’ve seen rats scurry out from under there.
I used to keep rats as pets before I came to Taiwan – such intelligent creatures. Despite what many people think rats are clean animals, grooming themselves as often as cats do. It’s only their environment that makes them dirty. The street rats here must be crawling with filth.
Heat from underground rises with the smells and the rats. I pass through warm pockets of rancid air that make me gag on my way to work. Taiwan is a beautiful place but the pollution is horrid, like a festering pimple on an otherwise handsome face. I guess everything has its downside. Such is life. Tomorrow the rain will be gone and the air will be clear and clean, for a few hours at least.