I flew into Hong Kong under a typhoon warning. I expected drama when I arrived, but the air was perfectly still. The white birches lining the hallway seemed somehow sepulchral. There is nothing so terrifying as the calm before the storm.
It didn’t help my feeling of unease when, at the border, a Chinese official wearing a mask pointed something that looked very much like a pistol at my head. Apparently, he was measuring my temperature in an effort to make sure that no one with swine flu made it into the country.
The typhoon never materialized.