Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Morbid Fascination

Locals almost seem morbidly fascinated with the scorching temperatures here and tend to wear it with a badge of pride. When they see a sweating Westerner like myself whom they assume is uncomfortable beyond belief, the first question from their mouth is almost always, "How are you liking the weather?" Translated, this means, "I can tell by the sweat dripping profusely from your head that you are in no way enjoying this country; how are you possibly surviving this heat which is but a slight nuisance to me?"

But here's the thing, it's my second year. I know what it's like. I expect high temperatures. And I never thought I'd say this (and I'm sure it will be followed up with a complaining post later this summer), but it's not that bad. In fact, when I get the "weather" question, my stock response has become, "it's not as bad as last year." I've yet to feel the "hair dryer" effect when walking out of the office at night, though I'm not sure if it's just not that hot or my expectations have changed. Granted, I've only been back in country six days.  Apparently there were a couple hot days while we were gone (46 or 47 Celsius, which in American terms is 115 to 117; I knew it was hot when a colleague responded to my comment from an instant message where I mentioned I was looking forward to returning with the simple phrase, "John, it is hot here").

Sure, when we returned the peanut butter was melting in the cupboard, the hand soap had settled into segmented layers, and it took three days for the air conditioning to actually cool the apartment to a core temperature where it felt like it was working, but these things now seem like slight nuisances. The scorching temperatures have become a morbid fascination.

Again, I've been back six days; the morbid fascination will slowly and surely turn to incessant complaining.

1 comment:

  1. John ... I just laughed and laughed at this post!!! So true and so funny! (damn that peanut butter!)