Heat and humiliation

8 Jul

When I left Shanghai end of May, the weather was warm, occasionally verging on hot. When I came back a few days ago, there was no more room for thermal ambiguity. It is now properly HOT! Tài rè le!!! Too hot! The temperatures, announced on TV and the net as low 30s, are really in the mid and high 30s. That would be barely bearable on its own, but you have to factor in very high levels of humidity. So high I don’t want to know how much. Look it up for yourself. All I know is that the first breath of non-conditioned air at the airport felt like I was mutating into a fish. It was like breathing water…

The few first days after my return, I didn’t go out much. The sun, which apparently had not shown its face for a while, was scorching. If there was any wind, it was really hot, like blow drying your hair. So all I did were small excursions to run errands and went back inside, turning on and off the air-conditioning.

Two days ago we had a really strong shower, throwing a depressive atmosphere over the city. It was weird to go out. So hot you didn’t feel like putting on any additional clothes than what minimal decency requires from you. It was also a first for me, heavy rain and heat, summer clothes with flip-flops and umbrella, being both sweaty and drenched. See, in Lebanon, it practically never rains in summer. Maybe once every 5 years. So I guess for as long as I live and in spite of 5 consecutive rubbish English summers, summer and sun will always go together for me.

Now I don’t want to sound like I am complaining. I really wouldn’t dare to, when I know what people who aren’t as fortunate to have their flat fitted with 4 air-conditioning units have to endure. Or those who have to take the tube everyday or those who have to wear suits and visit chemical factories. A friend fainted in the tube during her morning commute, the doctor said she was quite dehydrated. And my boyfriend came back from a day’s factory visit in the worst mood he is capable of, feeling sweaty and dirty under his shirt and suit. To sum it up, as my friend C., a long term resident of Shanghai and Guangzhou before that, says: “In Shanghai, there is no other way. During the summer season, you will be humiliated.”

Integral sun glasses

Clever dog: lying down right under the air-conditioning unit

Men’s coping strategy to handle the heat: rolling their shirt or t-shirt up and exposing their bellies. Not the best example but will strive to find a better one.

4 Responses to “Heat and humiliation”

  1. Aloun 11 July 2012 at 10:50 #

    worse than Leb in August?

    • L. 11 July 2012 at 10:57 #

      Yes by faaaaaaar!!! Lebanon is fresh compared to Shanghai…

  2. Angelita 19 July 2012 at 14:11 #

    wow…it’s really good blog thanks for sharing. i bookmarked it.http://www.casaemail.com.br

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Visits – Sānyà « Joli Canard à Shanghaï - 1 September 2012

    […] July, after enduring much heat and, for J., much humiliation (Cf this post), we headed to the beach. Although Shànghǎi, again which literally means “above the sea”, is […]

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