A Hail from Heaven 天降冰雹

After the spring thunder, at 5:30 pm on 9 April 2001, a hail came.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory, hail is not uncommon in Hong Kong. It takes place at least once a year.

What surprised me, however, was that this time it took place in the urban areas, with many passers-by being stuck on the roads.

I was one among them, watching the hailstones falling fom the sky, drumming and drumming.

This time I saw no sad faces: People were rejoicing, picking up the hailstones to see if they were real. Girls were truly excited, jumping up and down, up and down until Nathan Road was silenced.

In the 50s, when rickshaws/rickshas were seen everywhere, hail might not be a good auspice. It might be interpreted as something bad. Time has changed, however. From the faces I have seen, hail is no longer a thing to feel sorry about, but a welcoming sign of something unknown.

by Thomas Shum