Having just come back from Ontario, man do I ever appreciate the weather there. The nights cool off to a reasonable temperature, sometimes it is even so cool you have to close the windows! And the days are enjoyable. Hot, but enjoyable. Tolerable, in fact. One can go outside and not struggle to take a breath, or even be outside sitting on a patio chit chatting with family and friends for a length of time without becoming drenched in sweat.
The heat is so intense here, it is unbearable. And for those who don’t know us, we do not have air conditioning. Well, there is central AC in our building, but we do not turn it on. It costs way too much. Last year it was costing like at least $250/month just to keep the apartment at 85 F. It would be double that price by now, because on a regular basis, the apartment goes over 90 F. That expense is just out of the question. We do not have cable TV, cell phones, or even iPods or other music devices of that sort, just to save the money. So an expense like that- ha! But one day, we shall enjoy that luxury. But when I tell people it is hot, the usual responses include:
“Ya, it’s summer.”
“Ya, it is hot here too.”
“Today it was really humid for us as well.”
And several other variations of these. But, it is not the same. So I am going to tell you exactly what it is like here, and paint a very clear picture about the intense heat. The following contains no exaggeration, embellishing, fluffing, or the like, of any sort or degree. It is the true, exact, sweaty reality. All examples are real.
– I was unpacking from our trip, and had a towel on hand as a “sweat wiping towel”. And I am not just talking about moist arm pits or a few beads of liquid above your lip. I am talking streams of it running down my temples, my bra was saturated, and my back had drips. I had to take a shower afterwards.
– Cold showers are not what you think, not room temperature, or a little cool. The hot water tap doesn’t get touched. It is pure cold water. Just so you get the idea, next time you want to take a “cold shower”, try not touching the hot water tap at all, or if it is the kind where you turn it based on red and blue lines, turn it 100% to the right so it is full blue. This, is how we shower. And it is so beautiful and refreshing. We frequently do this several times a day, even just for a quick rinse to avoid wet, greasy, uncomfortable skin.
– When lounging around the house, ice packs are stuffed in our clothing. And sometimes a small towel is soaked in cold water and placed in the freezer until “crispy” to place on our neck or head.
– When I unpacked the groceries today, I was so sweaty there were streams running down my chin and temples, my hair became moist, as well as drips of sweat running down my back. Even though I only wore my dress for a few hours, it became a biohazard- stinky and soaked. I had to put it in the laundry. And then take a shower in the same means as above.
– I walked to the bank yesterday. It is about 5 minutes away. My skin felt like it was being scorched. I couldn’t take a deep breath comfortably. Sweat was beginning to pool and drip. Yes, it is a 5 minute walk away. It feels like somewhere tropical, like Dominican, where the sun is really strong and after a while you just need some shade.
– Based on the above, obviously doing our usual nice cooking is out of the question. Anything other then using the microwave or eating something cold is out. As is cleaning. I save cleaning for days where it is overcast- which is almost never. Because even though it is hot, I drink copious amounts of water while doing it, and the usual sweat pooling and dripping everywhere occurs, at least the sun is not belting in on me. And if we close the blinds, it will block any hint of a breeze that may come in and circulate some of the stuffiness out. Or if it rains, usually a few minutes of cool breeze comes in- which is glorious. We put towels down around the windows so we can leave them open and not soak everything and still get any breeze that is out there.
– There hasn’t been a single time all summer that my face hasn’t been full of blemishes, bumps, and pimples.
Here is a photo of the Artist’s shirt, you will see the large dark area on his back, which is sweat. He wasn’t doing anything particularly strenuous, just stuff around the house like reading, tending to the plants, drawing, etc. I don’t have any pictures of me, because I usually don’t usually wear much clothing…mostly to avoid having to go through several clothing items a day due to sweating and therefore spending lots of laundry (we have to do coin laundry).
Oh Canada, how I miss your cool nights. I would love to be bundled up in those Smurf blue slippers and a sweater right now. Hopefully only another month of this before is cools down to nice temperatures where we can go outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Right now, I seem to have managed a comfortable level. I have a cold towel and am sitting directly in front of our fans. A glass of cold water, and I just had a cold shower. Hopefully, this will last 😀