Lights Out

Georgetown, Penang No one is surprised when the lights go off. The owner of the East Xiamen restaurant uses his mobile - the universal emergency light of the 21st century - to find some candles, and we finish our dinner by candlelight.

Getting home is a bit more problematic. We're halfway down Love Lane, a dangerous street at the best of times, and the blackout caused by the storm has wiped out the streetlights. It's pitch black and pouring, pouring. The footpath is constantly obstructed, so we have to duck from doorway to doorway, checking for traffic each time, because there are still a few poor motorcyclists about.

Out the front of Traveller's Lodge, the road is flooded to a depth of about a foot. Lyn wades it; I climb over the side wall, which is a successful but unpopular choice.

Home safe, we sit on the roadside tables drinking cheap Thai beer and getting drenched by passing cars.

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