Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Hot Stuff January 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 9:40 pm

It’s hot. I hate to write a post about the weather, but this is seriously all anyone here can think or talk about. Imagine Houston in the summer. Or Oman or Bahrain in the summer. Without air-conditioning. The thing is, it’s hard because everything is always air-conditioned in those places. Here, few places are. I’ll try to illustrate a little bit how hot it is here.

I sleep with all the windows and my bedroom door open, with very little clothing (I know, why not no clothing – it’s a toss-up…door clothed and no clothing or door open and little clothing), my hair tied in a bun on top of my head, with a fan blowing on its highest setting directly on me. I have to sleep on my back and try not to move. I still wake up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, sweating.

When the power went out in the middle of the night the other night, I sat up in bed gasping for air because I felt like I was suffocating in the hot, humid, still air. I went into the living room, which is cooler and tried to sleep on the couch. If you knew how tiny and uncomfortable (uneven palm wicker with thin cushions) the couch is and how many mosquitoes are in the living room, you would understand how desperate I was for some slightly cooler air.

The first thing I do when I walk in the door is take off my watch, earrings, and glasses because I can’t stand the feel of them on my slimy skin (I know, why put them on in the first place?). Then I take everything else off to take a cold shower and change into dry clothes. Ten minutes later I’m dripping again, but at least I smell a little better.

By noon I can’t stand the feel of my skin, which fluctuates between sticky and wet.

By 4pm I can’t stand the smell of me (not BO but more like my first graders when they came in from recess in Houston).

By 4pm I also can’t stand the feel of clothes on my body. Sadly, in the office there is little I can do about this.

On Saturday morning I walked to a café to meet a friend for breakfast. The normally 20 minute walk took me 30 minutes because I couldn’t move any faster. I then, idiotically, ordered tea and sat in the shade and dripped for an hour and a half.

I must remember to carry a washcloth with me to church like all the Mozambicans. I could prevent my shirt from getting soaked through like it did on Sunday. And the most energetic thing I did was clap.

I can’t remember the last time I touched the hot water tap on the shower.

I’m dripping as I type this at 9:30pm.

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5 Responses to “Hot Stuff”

  1. Rachel Says:

    I so, so, so, SO understand this kind of heat. And being hot. And not touching the hot water knob for months on end. I didn’t have A/C in Vietnam and it was like an inferno.

    The crazy thing is that the Vietnamese all wore TONS of clothing to become whiter. They wanted to protect every inch of their skin from the tanning powers of the sun.

    The rest of us, though, just struggled to breathe.

    I’m so sorry that it’s so hot.

  2. Margaret Says:

    Last week it was below zero a couple of days, but the house was warm. I really feel for you, Jen, since I can’t stand humidity in the summertime. The house is always a refuge, though, because we have air conditioning. I hope you get some relief soon. Gram

  3. grandplans Says:

    Yuck! I think I can understand a little bit. That’s what it felt like in Egypt the summer we did the sports camp. Couldn’t sleep at night! And sometimes the water would stop running. But at least we had a pool right outside the cabins.

  4. Melanie Says:

    Can I send you a small window unit or something?!? That just sounds awful! Seriously…

  5. Elizabeth Wright Says:

    Yes, I remember that heat – when we were in Sudan. I first arrived there in April (many years ago) with a 5 month old baby (Joanna). April is the hottest month in Sudan. I was breast-feeding her so lots of body contact. I thought I would never move again. I thought ‘I’ll just sit here and sweat’. We only had electricity from about 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. so no air conditioning, no fans, no nothing. We used to take a shower before we went to bed and get in/on bed wet. The metal bed frame was hot. We had the windows open and hoped for a breeze. In the daytime if we were writing we would rest our arm on a towel.


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