When I left for my evening run, it was dark even by Indonesian standards at 5:15 p.m. The clouds were heavy, just the way I love them. My affection for rain cannot be understated.
The last time I was caught in a downpour was on our jungle walk. Before an audience of bewildered 7th graders, my colleague grabbed my arm to do a rain dance. We relished the drenching!! This was before a usually sweaty trek through dense rubber, cinnamon and other tropical trees.
But today, I was simply jogging through my heavily shaded neighborhood. I had taken off my modest sweater and exposed my shoulders in anticipation of the heat and humidity that just barely subsides in the evenings.
Halfway around the circuit, I began to feel drops. Then the leaves no longer provided adequate covering. The rain increased in intensity as I reached my gate. My satpams (security guards) offered an umbrella which I waved off.
I needed a towel by the time I was home. Atik, my pembantu, was laughing as she ran upstairs to get the towel while I wrung out my clothes outside the front door.
This past weekend my friend, Rebekah, explained that the reason you see Indonesians heavily bundled up on motorbikes in 90 degree heat (Knit caps, gloves, hoodies pulled tight, puffy coats, scarves) is that people guard against “having the wind in you.” The American equivalent might be “catching a cold.”
The rain was warm, but for a moment, I wondered if I would catch the wind in me after the stormy run. Am I more Indonesian with each day?