I like hot weather, always did. I start getting comfortable somewhere above 25°C, whereas everything below makes me reach for a sweater. Very fondly I recall my visits to the Egyptian desert – vast, empty, and hot. Or those two hours I spent in the blistering summer heat at Dante’s View, looking over Death Valley and writing on my travel diary.
Humidity is something entirely different though: When your body is constantly sweating and you’re sticky already ten minutes after showering… ugh. So, this week was trying, to say the least. Air temperature slowly converged towards body temperature, finally exceeding it today with 39°C, all the while with a humidity of at least 60%. People cope with the heat by staying indoors – a majority of the buildings here has airconditioning now – and go out only in the morning or early evening. House owners around here often wet the streets in front of their houses – which does provide some temporary relief at least, but unfortunately does not help with the humidity.
Me? I have changed some of my habits.
Firstly, am taking cold showers now. Cold meaning 37°C instead of my usual 42°. It helps insofar as I am not emerging from the shower giving off hot steam, so I believe it helps with the sweating for a short while.
Secondly, I have to say that I’m not enthousiastic of electric fans, and in fact I am quite happy that Ebisu’s doesn’t have airconditioning. However, when on Tuesday night at 10 pm the temperature was still up at 30°C, I reluctantly retrieved the fan for the first time to help me fall asleep that night, and I’ve been using it ever since. Of course, I keep the windows open now at all times, but unfortunately, as Kyoto is enclosed by mountains on three sides, there is not much of a cooling breeze coming up the hill here.
Finally, I have taken to flee the house in the afternoons. My room faces West, and while this offers perfect views of beautiful sunsets ranging from pale pink to flaming orange, it also means that the sun heats my room like a furnace from about 2 pm until the sun sets. I leave the house at around 2:30 to look for a cooler abode. The university, with its airconditioned lounge and library is only ten minutes away. However, in this weather I prefer to be outside, and thank goodness, just between the house and the university there is Yoshida shrine, dedicated to the university, by the way. Its numerous buildings are dotting the hillside and there are many trees and shadowy spots. It is quiet and comparatively cool, and I go there to read, write, and study until they close in the early evening. So far, nobody has minded me sitting there, and I think I’ll go there regularly as it the closest and most convenient spot.