Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm not going to be able to tell it's autumn in Southeast Asia in the ways I normally look forward to. Between now and the longest night in late mid-December, the sunset will creep earlier and earlier into the day. At around thirteen degrees north latitude, however, there just isn't much variance we can expect to observe. Right now, so near yesterday's equinox, it gets full-on dark shortly after six-oh-seven. It's hard to tell when sunset is exactly--it's often stormy and overcast outside, making it seem night much earlier than it should. But six-oh-seven's about when all the hotel signs come on across the skyline. Last year, in late December when the northern hemisphere enjoys its longest night, I remember it getting dark shortly after five thirty. I can’t really remember when it got dark back in June, when the hemisphere suffers its longest day. At home in North Carolina, sunset will vary from eight thirty in the evening to five thirty in the afternoon over the space of autumn, a dramatic swing assisted in early November when Daylight Saving stops. Here, the biggest change will be sunsets I can see through the clouds. The temperature will be at their yearly coolest during the second, dryer half of fall--November to January, really--when we'll appreciate the breezy and temperate overnight seventies followed by the dry and sunny daytime eighties. Back home it might drop into the forties, maybe even sink below freezing occasionally, before the New Year. And as the trees are turning orange and red and yellow at home, their leaves beginning to pile up in people's front yards, the bright green and lush foliage here, finally peeking into long sunlight hours for the first time in four or five months, will begin blooming enthusiastically. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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