Strangely, I've actually been underwhelmed by the amount of rain. A Pacific Northwest native, of course I'm used to rain, but somehow I expected rain during the rainy season in the rainiest city in Borneo to be like Seattle rain on 'roids. It hasn't been which is nice, plus I always appreciate having clouds around midday to block that brutal equatorial sun. With little variation the temperature is mid-80s in the day and mid-70s at night.
Kuching's rain is not so different from Seattle's, but its thunder is. The weather forecast for virtually every day that I've been here has been "T-storms," but rarely do thunder and lightning come near enough to campus that I'd say I'm in a thunderstorm. Those occasions, however, can be a bit frightening. The sharp thunder "claps" are ten times as loud as the low "booms" I'm used to. At first I found it odd that people kept telling me to be careful whenever I was heading outside at a time it was raining. That was before I found out that last year a UNIMAS student was struck by lightning and instantly killed just a half-mile from where my apartment building sits. She was using an umbrella and a cell phone at the time.
I must have had an exaggerated conception of 'tropical climate' before coming here; I've found it easier than expected to tolerate not only the amount of rain but also the level of heat. I do all my running and basketball either in the morning or evening, and midday I try to stay inside or under shade. I would be wearing shorts 100% of the time if it weren't for the expectation that to class and inside the library men wear long pants, which I find uncomfortably hot when outdoors. But overall the heat rarely bothers me. In fact, some of my classes are so heavily air-conditioned that I've learned to bring along my jacket.
Con: When walking outdoors at my normal pace I start sweating in about three minutes.
Con: The lens of my camera fogs up real bad when moved outdoors from an air-conditioned room.
Pro: I can get sweet photo effects without any fancy software.
All in all, I find the weekly weather forecasts for Kuching – which invariably read "High of 86, T-storms, 80% chance of precipitation" – to be misleading. I'm grateful that neither the rain nor the heat nor the lightning (knock on wood) has much impeded my activities here.