So remember when I said I hate Xiamen? I hate it even more now. It’s SOOOOOOOOOO friggin hot.
I walk around wearing a sweat band, and I don’t do it in an ironic Wes Anderson-type way. I wear it because my face sweats so much that if I try to wipe it with my hand, my hand is covered in so much water I need to wipe my hand on something (usually my clothes) which then makes them wet.
Speaking of wet clothes, that’s another problem. I’m actually worried I’m gonna grow moss on my body because I have wet clothes on my body for hours at a time. I change them as much as I can, up to 3 times a day, but if I’m out for hours I got no choice and just have to live in clothes that look like I got caught in a rainstorm. It’s not cool when you can wring out your clothes and that water came from your sweat glands.
And I’m pretty sure I won’t have many friends left after summer.
Remember that my friends call me “bacon Becky” because my face gets so red? Well, that was in May. It’s worse now. And not only that but I have zero sense of humor now. Several of us met for a Sunday brunch a few weeks ago and everyone was late. In a group chat I was just yelling at them, telling them to hurry up and sending all sorts of violent animated gifs. My one friend said she would arrive soon and told everyone else not to worry, she’d handle “cranky Becky.”
I have a feeling that cranky is one of the nicest words they use to describe me. I don’t want to know what they call me when I’m not around. But I don’t blame them. On the red dress run, after a few hours, my friends were playing around with a bottle of water, trying to splash each other. I wasn’t paying attention, or involved, when I got a bottle of water thrown all over me. I had spent all day with special sweat-wicking clothes, sweat bands and other techniques to keep me as dry as possible and I ended up with water all over my shirt and bag?! I freaked out.
But instead of yelling and complaining I just went ice cold and walked by myself for awhile. Everyone could tell I was super pissed and a few tried to cheer me up, delicately coming up to me and asking if they could do anything for me. “I just want to walk by myself,” I said through clenched teeth. It wasn’t that I was even so mad. I was just ready to be in a bad mood and it set me off and I remembered that I hate everyone and everything That’s kinda what happens to me when I’m hot.
And remember, it’s not even technically summer yet.
So thank god this is my last week of classes. I think it’s better that I get out of here while I can to save my sanity, my body and my friendships.
So where to go? Well, China is a lot like America climate-wise. Of course I’m gonna go north, but even so it can be quite hot in July and August.
So I’m going north and up. In an attempt to get a cooler place I’m gonna head for higher elevation. I’m gonna start in Xi’an, and head west, following the old “Silk Road” of China and end up in Xinjiang.
Xinjiang is one of those parts of China that doesn’t act like the rest of the country. The people are Uighur, a ethnic minority that is more related to middle eastern cultures than Chinese (in both appearance and culture). They worship at mosques, eat a totally different kind of food and live in a dry, mountainous region that is supposed to be stunning.
And yes, while it is gonna be hot as hell, it should hopefully be a dry heat, which I can handle easier. Also, with low humidity, nights should be cool. And if you know otherwise, please don’t tell me. I like the delusion I’m telling myself.
One funny feature of Xinjiang is the time difference. China, while approximately the same size as America, runs on only one time zone: Beijing time. But Xinjiang is far west as California is from New York, so when the sun is rising over Beijing at 6am, it is still 2-3 hours below the horizon in Xinjiang. I heard official institutions, like banks and such, run on Beijing time, but the shops and other local things run on “Xinjiang time” which is about 2 hours after Beijing time. We’ll see how confusing that is.
Anyway, I won’t leave for a few more weeks, but dreaming and planning my trip is making this heat just a little bit more bearable. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to sweat in front of students for awhile…er, teach, I mean, i have to go teach.