Tuesday, July 6, 2010
But what I didn't anticipate was how hot the summers are. In fact, nothing could prepare you for the sweltering heat and humidity apart perhaps from a prolonged acclimatization trip in the Amazonian rain forest! There are some days (like today) when, while the sun is shining invitingly, the 103F temperature and 40% humidity make it impossible to spend more than 15 minutes outside without melting into a pool of sweat.
Subway platforms are the hottest places of all, particularly at the end of the day when the heat has had a chance to accumulate. It is close to unbearable - especially with the addition of the smell of stale air and urine.
As a woman, one pretty much gives up on hair and make up on days like this. My wardrobe has almost completely changed since I moved here and I wear exclusively dresses in the summer as I find that floaty garments in lightweight cotton or silk are most effective against the heat.
Having said all that, I am prepared to deal with the few really hot days that we get every summer because the trade-off is amazing - temperatures start warming up by mid-April and stay that way until late October. As far as I am concerned, this means a summer that spans nearly 6 months and make the July and August heatwaves all worthwhile.