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JISHOU, HUNAN — You know the old saw, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait an hour?” Well, it’s true here, too.

At 3 pm, there was a light cloud cover and 86 degrees F. At dinner, one of my friends got a call from her boyfriend in Changsha, who told her the temperature had plummeted to the 60’s, it was raining, and a northerly wind was blowing hard. (The gusty wind also locked him out of his home: the wind slammed the door against the wall, pushing in the lock button, then slammed it shut … while he was outside and his keys inside.)

Sure enough, by the time we finished dinner at Will Long Cake (they do serve more than cake there; it’s like a Dairy Queen Brazier, but not as greasy), it was cold, gusty and starting to rain. Right now (10:30) it is pouring outside, and I just turned on the heater.

Of course, I shouldn’t complain. The Philippines just got clobbered again by another typhoon, the third in the last five weeks.