So you know how I was living in this bubble of perfect days, with perfect friends and perfect food and perfect fun?
Well, that bubble just popped.
No, my friends are still fun and amazing, the food is off-the-charts delicious and everyday has a million fun activities. But now I don’t want to do anything because of the GODDAMN HEAT!! It’s like somebody flipped the switch from “mild and pleasant” to “hot humid hell.”
And I just fall apart in humidity. Always have. My face turns beet red even if I am not exerting myself. And it stays red long past the point of normalcy. I get a lot of concerned “are you alright? Your face is so red!” comments in this heat. It’s embarrassing.
And there is more than just a cosmetic problem, but an actual health danger. I get heat stroke quite easily. Once I get hot, even if I get into a cool room, my body can’t cool itself down properly and I’ll end up puking or pooping from the heat. I’m most worried about this in the classroom. With 100 degree temps and no a/c, 2 simple classes can turn into a 4-hour endurance test.
I have gotten heat stroke before from teaching in such hot temps. With only 4 weeks of class left, I’m crossing my fingers I can make it before the temperature is too high.
Because that’s the problem, it’s not even summer yet! And already I’m falling apart! The actual temperature isn’t even that high, but with major humidity the “real-feel” temp is almost 10 degrees hotter. My body just pours buckets of sweat out of my pores. My clothes sop up most of it, but my face is left on it’s own. It actually sweats so much that it drips off my face and I didn’t even know it. (Lovely picture eh?) And yes, this is happening now. And yes, I dripped on a student today.
It’s not even normal “hot” here. Only those who have lived in the swamps of Florida could probably understand. This is the kind of heat that after your clothes dry there is actual salt rings left on them. That salt being your body salt. And that can be as little as two hours after you left your house. And wet, you are wet all the time. Your shirts become soaked and the waist band of your pants get so wet it takes hours for it to dry. And with air conditioning not available in many places, and having to walk everywhere and the buses being a sauna (they don’t start the air conditioners until June 1st and even then it is up to the “drivers discretion” and I’m pretty sure they are told not to use it to save money because the buses are usually saunas.) it doesn’t take very long to be totally soaked.
And then there is my mood. Let’s just say that when my body is overheating, my hair frizzing out and buckets of water are pouring out of my body, I’m not all rainbows and sunshine. I’m a cranky, whiny son of a bitch. If I know I have to be outside for a certain amount of time, I can handle it. But the second I am expecting to be inside with a/c I better be inside with a/c or you will not hear the end of it.
Last weekend I was out all weekend for a ultimate Frisbee tournament. One day at the beach, one day in an outdoor stadium. I expected to be out all weekend, I dealt with it, but the second it was over on the last day I tromped home and pushed a cute kitty out of the way my friend was petting. (We have a kitty living in our building that is kind of a group pet.) As I stormed past I heard my friend say to the other, “She just needs her air conditioner.” And the funny thing is the friend that knew that about me is one of my newer friends. She has only known me since winter, when the weather was nice, and hasn’t seen me in ‘summer mode’ before. But I have been complaining about hot weather for the entire winter so even she knows.
And speaking of friends, mine aren’t helping that much. We took a hike up a mountain recently for our Hash walk. It was 700+ steps straight up. The day wasn’t too hot, but sunny with a good dose of humidity, and with all the exertion my face turned bright red again. And then my ‘darling’ friends gave me a nickname: Bacon Becky.
When I exert myself in the winter, I get a kind of cute, red flush. My body likes being cold, and when it is cold outside (or no humidity I should say) my body is so happy to be active. I barely sweat, but warm up nicely and get a rosy, healthy glow. But summer it all goes wrong. The cute rosy glow turns to Armageddon on my face. My hair tries to flee my scalp in all directions and conversations consist almost entirely of me reminding everyone how hot I am.
So for the hot summer months I’m going to be hiding in my room with the air conditioner cranked very high. Hope I still have friends when I emerge next winter!
The weather reminds me of Taiwan. I love Taiwan, except the weather (and working environment, but that’s another story). It can be so humid where you walk just ONE block and you’re sweating like you have jogged a mile at least. Also, it is also so hard to not have your things have mold…I don’t miss that.
I lived in South Florida as well…yes, I can relate. Although, Taiwan has South Florida beat. At least in Florida, people drive. Also, my apartment complex had a pool. That helped…
Oh, BOO! I hear you. I turn red and sweat like a pig. I’m a delicate Northern flower and I HATE heat and humidity.
So having lived in Virginia, Florida, the San Fernando Valley, etc., I have to say summer in Washington DC is the worst. Seriously. It’s hot and humid and the AIR DOES NOT MOVE. Miami you get a breeze. LA you lack humidity. VA, also perhaps a mountain breeze. DC was built on a swamp and the brain child of Thomas Jefferson, who firmly believed a strong central government was BAD. It’s his revenge for being sent to France while the Constitution was being drafted to replace the Articles of Confederation. Or that’s my theory anyway. You sweat and it’s 99% humidity and 100+ degrees and you don’t stop sweating all summer. Xiamen sounds horrifyingly similar.
So sorry. Try not to kill cats.
That picture shows a “Feels Like” temp of 96F. Currently, I’m visiting friends in Bangkok and the “Feels Like” temp during the day had been between 102F to 112F for the past 2 weeks. At night, it was 90F to 98F. Brutal.
Hahah, thanks for the support guys. I don’t get it, everyone here is so blase about it. They say “yeah, it sucks” but then happily continue their day. Or, their shirts are soaked through but don’t even seem to notice it. Meanwhile I’m falling apart, fanning myself with my hand and yes, I’ve taken to wearing a sweatband when I go outside (on my wrist) just to be able to wipe away the copius amounts of sweat falling down my face.
and pt, we had one day so far with a “feels like” of 114!! In May!!! Gaaaaaahhhhh!!!!
And Eileen, xiamen is directly across from Taiwan so i would imagine the weather is pretty similar (aka miserable!)
I’m in Taipei at the moment and the temperature here regularly tops 30° C but it’s still tolerable without aircon.
Whats the humidity like in Taipei? I would guess pretty high too, right?
Yeah, it’s pretty humid here. The good thing about it, I think, is that the humidity seems to act as some sorta natural moisturiser as my skin now feels softer and more moist. 🙂
Haha, good to be optimistic. I guess I could also say I am spending less money of face and hand lotion (as I have dry skin). But then again using way more deodorant, and that is hard to get in China!