International Flag Day

Out of the past 7 days it has rained 6 days. It has also been sunny during part of the day each of those 7 days. The joys of living in a tropical climate: you get the wonderful, sunny, warm weather… and you get sticky weather mixed with the frequent rain showers associated with high level of humidity. My brother, Jehiah, once asked, “Does it really rain every day? That’s what my weather app seems to tell me.” To which I jokingly replied, “Well, it’s always really humid. Once it pass 100% humidity, it rains!”

“Due to its geographical location and maritime exposure, Singapore’s climate is characterized by uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity and abundant rainfall. The average temperature is between 25 degrees Celsius and 31 degrees Celsius. Thunderstorms occur on 40% of all days. Relative humidity is in the range of 70% – 80%. April is the warmest month, January is the coolest month and November is the wettest month.” – From Guide Me Singapore

Because yesterday was a nice sunny day after a string of rainy and stormy days, people decided that it was the perfect day for hanging their international flag. We couldn’t disagree. In fact, since it was a weekend yesterday, more people seemed to be home to fly their international flag than during the middle of the week.

Introducing The International Flag:
This is the apartment building one over from our own.

This is the apartment building one over from our own.

That’s right, the common clothes drying pole is known affectionately (and informally) by some around here as the international flag.

In celebration of this impromptu holiday, we bought two extra flag poles and increased our total ranks to four. We finished an astounding 2.5 loads of laundry. We hung our own international flags (unfortunately they dried and we took ours inside before I thought to take a picture).

The typical length of one of these plastic covered bamboo poles is 9 ft.

I am amazed at the elderly and feeble women and men that I see daily reaching out of their kitchen with this long pole laden with wet clothes. They drop it into its holder with ease and grace. It’s not as easy or as graceful as it seems when I’ve attempted the task. You have to hold the entire pole outside of the window before you can drop it into it’s holder. To make matters worse, you must reach out about another foot past the windows edge and angle the pole just right so that it can slide into the holder.

It is an art form.

I am still learning the art. But, once I’ve learned the art, perhaps my arms will be a bit stronger? Andrew also tried out the art yesterday and found it to be harder than the other local pros make it seem.

As hard or as easy as the art may be, we will show our loyalty to the international flag and continue to wave it proudly from our kitchen window.

Side note: you know those other six days this week that it was raining? Invariably someone isn’t at home when the rain starts and their international flag meant to dry out the clothes in the sun, instead becomes soaked. I feel bad for the few that have this misfortune befall them. All that work to wash the clothes. The marvelous spin cycle on the washer machine. All for naught. <sigh> I’m sure one of these days a sudden tropical rain will catch me off guard as well.
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