Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going crazy in the heat

How to cope with the heat? Just 'nap it out'...

Summer in Suzhou is a humid story. The downside with the beginning of it all (which is taking place at this very moment, yesterday we had a whopping 35 degrees and I felt as if I was riding my bike through a sauna) is that very few places turn on their air con until June. That’s the case with my gym. Keen to get back into the exercise buzz again (after a week of flu and resting) I decided that an outdoor run was impossible in this sauna weather, so I opted for the gym and the treadmill. Unfortunately, the gym hadn’t turned on their air con yet, but keen as I was, I decided to still go for that run. Bad choice.

After 6 km I hit a point where I thought my head was going to explode. I had to stop, even though I was running at a very comfortable 10km/hour pace. The after sweating was rather overwhelming. I am one of those people that sweat quite easily anyways, and after a 35 min run in a room where there’s at last 32 degrees, the sweat just wouldn’t stop dripping off my body. With my head feeling as if it was burning from inside, I felt so uncomfortable that I didn’t really know what to do. I tried to walk around for a bit and find a cooler space, but there wasn't any. Then I yelled a little bit at the trainers, asking them to turn on the air con, but it was useless.

-You just can’t run in this heat, one of them said. I mean, I am just standing here still and I am also really sweaty! 

-That’s not a solution! I said. And really, it isn’t. I mean, the whole point with a gym is that you’re supposed to be able to exercise there, right?

Another place that is yet to turn on their air con is my university. Since I ride my bike to school I am quite warm (and, ehum, sweaty) when I get there already, and listening to a teacher explaining new grammar rules while sliding around on your seat (sorry, too much information maybe?!) for 3 hours isn’t a hit. I find it so hard to concentrate when I am warm. Maybe I should start bringing a mini fan with me everywhere?

Another one that seems to have been slightly hit by the heat wave is my dear boyfriend. He caught the last train from Shanghai to Suzhou the other day. Exhausted from a day in the sun he managed to fall asleep and when he woke up the train was just pulling up at a station. So he got up and got off. Never mind the fact that Suzhou was the final destination and that the people around him didn’t move from their seats. Never mind the fact that when he walked out on the platform he felt that he didn’t really recognize himself. It wasn’t until the train started rolling again when he realized that he’d gotten off the train at one station too early, namely at Kunshan, and had to get an expensive 40 minute taxi ride to end up in Suzhou. If it would have been me we would have just shrugged our shoulders, as it isn’t usual for me to pull off stunts like this… but my boyfriend is the sort of guy that never gets lost/misses a train/ takes the wrong turn. So I find this situation rather hilarious.

And it isn't just us going mad in the heat, our dear ayi also seems to have lost it a little bit. I had left her a note and some money to order us water the other day (which is nothing out of the ordinary, she has done this a lot of times before), but when I came home she was gone and so were all our empty bottles (the large kinds!) of water. After 10 minutes she came back, CARRYING three giant bottles.

-What have you done?! I asked you to order the water, not to physically go and get it?! I exclaimed. It’s 35 degrees out there!

-Well I thought I would go and then you don’t have to pay the delivery fee!

Oh lord. Of course I had to pay the delivery fee (+ extras) still. Although this time it went to my ayi rather than the water delivery company. And why she did this? No idea. She's never physically gone to get water before (and the phone was working!) 

I had about 3 showers yesterday. One in the morning, one after the gym and one after a bike ride to our local food shop which isn't located far from our house. And this is just the beginning. Summer is here. Although we have to wait until June to turn on the air cons. Lovely. 

22 comments:

Johan Rusli said...

Why do it need to wait until June to turn on the air con?

Jonna Wibelius said...

Johan -save energy? (which is a good reason actually, although it is quite hard to function like normal in this kind of heat). Some people don't officially consider it to be summer yet? (it is!!!). It's 'only' May and we don't turn on the air con until June.... -take your pick! These are the reasons I can think of.

kanmuri said...

It is barely 15 here in Iwate... It should warm up a little during June, but then we'll have the rainy season in July and it will be HELL. As will August be.

If this is like Japan, there is probably a specific date from which it is ok to turn your airccon on. Not that we have that here, but we have similar rules for other things. The beauches open only for the summer vacation. Even if it's 35 degrees the weekend before summer vacation, nobody goes to the beach (except foreigner, haha!). Seems like people like rules...

罗子路 said...

I can relate to you about the heat. I am in Wuhan, one of China's hottest cities. Just a simple 10 minute walk to get something to eat leads to pouring sweat.

waitingkitty said...

I think China is doing an overly good jobb with energy conservation. You should come to HK, they on the aircon too cold all the time and it gets worse during winter!

The Casual Observer said...

We've had the AC on since March :( My my wife loves it cool.

Unfortunately, I prefer it warm, and I really don't like AC. I'm uncomfortablly cold at 69F in AC, whereas the same temp outside is fine.

mantse said...

fright some iced-bottle water and take one when you out.... an iced-water bottle help you to cool down and watering you!!

i hate summer course without air-con. esp. the fan ahead you have a frequent and stable "da-da" sound which make you fell sleep soon......

Ramesh said...

Startb your workcation to Finland early !!

njd said...

Enjoy today! It is a nice and breezy day to run outside!

Tripfriend said...

It's nice and cool here, but it's been raining for the past three days, and it's supposed to rain for another five.

I'm enjoying the cool temperatures while they last though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonna,

I know exactly how you feel. Non stop sweating can be a real pain. I dont usually do one-up-manship, but I bet I sweat even easier than you do. When I used to play badminton, I'd bring along 3 or 4 t shirts and a 2L bottle, while everyone around me would, at most, have just a single t shirtto change into.

I applaud your dedication to exercise. I just know I'd get a headache in those conditions, so I wouldnt have even tried. 2 points to you.

And minus 2 points to China for not turing on the air con. Man...just push a button to turn it on!

I just moved and my air con isnt working - landlord is having a new one installed later this week- cant wait!

Adrian

Brad F. said...

It's been between 32 and 34 every day here in Singapore (in the shade with a fan blowing) so far. That's good. When it hits 35 I'll have to go to the mall or library if I want to use my laptop during the day. That's the upper limit on the temperature. ^_^

We turn on the aircon at night here, around 11 PM and then turn it off at 7:30 AM. It's strange though...

When I was in the US, 26 C felt hot, but now, here, with the aircon, 26 C feels SO COLD!

I have a feeling that when I move back to NYC, I'm going to be the only guy on the street wearing a jacket for quite a few months.

Dangerous Des said...

Ha! I wish I would have the nerve to tell my gym to turn on the AC, although they don't have one to turn on, even if I did. Nothing in this town in air conditioned; I don't know about other parts of Germany but here, NOTHING. You walk into the bank and can smell the body odor of every person in there. A trip to the grocery store is sweltering, vegetables wilting on the shelves. They also do not refrigerate anything that won't go off without being refrigerated. Back in the States a liter of cola refrigerated costs the same as a liter of cola sitting on a shelf, but here you can pay as much as twice for a cold beverage. Not fun!

Chris said...

I feel your pain. It's almost the same in Wenzhou. Literally overnight it transformed from beautiful weather to boiling hot weather (I was just writing about this topic on my blog also!). Your spot on with the air con thing. In my school we've got the small air con on in the office, but this means the class rooms are still roasting....and there aren't even any windows (not that it would help much). The only benefit of Wenzhou is that it isn't as humid as Suzhou I think! Good luck.

Mark's Blog said...

I haven't experience summer in China for 4 years, dunno how it feel now, but…… still remember the day when there was no air con, everyone family just went to the park to spend the nights

Jonna Wibelius said...

Oh the irony! Just the day when I wrote this post it started raining and stuff, and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees... hahaha!

Kanumri -Ah, so July and August are the worse in japan too? Same here. That's the time of the year when I normally try to escape. 15 degrees at the moment sounds sweet though!

罗子路 -hot and humid indeed. In a way, I prefer winter in China. Being in a bit city in such heat isn't very nice...

waitingkitty -yeah u r right. I shouldn't be complaining because of course it is a good thing that they are saving energy. Wow, I didn't know HK was such an air-con loving place... I need to pay a visit soon, if nothing else, then simply to cool down!

Observer -since March?!?! Wow, must be hot where u live! You should take your wife on a holiday to Scandinavia... cool all year around! :)

mantse -fridge is already full of bottles... even threw out some chicken to make extra room. Priorities!

Ramesh -naaah, first I have to finish this semester at uni... :/

njd -u also in Suzhou?! Minor storm here today, although still nicer than yesterday's sauna weather. I was still sweating as a pig during today's gym work out however... it's the humidity that gets to me.

tripfriend -yeah I bet. Once it gets hot it stays hot for quite some time. U going home for summer?

Adrian -haha, u are exactly like me when I am going for a work out.. I always come with 2 bottles, a change of clothes etc... I don't get a headache from the heat but I feel kind of exhausted from nothing (because of the warm weather) and that's a bit annoying. Can't work out for as long as I want to anymore. I guess I need some time to 'adapt' to the humid weather...

Brad F -hehe, yeah, when I went back from Sweden from Australia I was the only person who would go to the city and meet my friends for a coffe wearing flip flops and board shorts... I quickly stopped though. Started feeling a bit like a misfit.

Des -In Sweden they don't keep cold cokes etc in big supermarkets either... it doesn't bother me though, I am so used to it. If u want a cold drink u can get one from one of the convenience stores. Must be the same in Germany?

Chris -sounds like we are in a very similar situation! But u r lucky if Wenzhou isn't that humid. It's the humidity that is the worse. Especially when there is no beach/pool to escape to.

Mark - Nights in the park.. yeah it gets hot here during the summer. But if spending a night in the park, how would u guys then cope with the mosquitoes? Those are almost worse than the heat!!

Pete In Syracuse said...

My Daughter has a spray bottle with a sprayer attached she thinks it's cool......pardon the pun! It's made in china & was pretty inexpensive, runs on aaa batteries maybe that a route to go in. I mean you could place the water bottle/Fan on the treadmill with it on and periodically spritz your self or just leave the fan on. It's no bigger than a water bottle.

Hippo said...

OOH... tell me about it! In Malaysia we almost MELT too just walking under the sun for 5 miserable mins! It's 36 here! EVERYDAY!

inthesun said...

wow...If it's above 25 we run the a/c. Being in Florida, it runs just about all year. Sometimes at night night in the colder months it's goes off but that's very rare.

MJF said...

hehe, the reason that I avoid going to China during summer...especially to southern cities, unless its Hainan, which is all beaches and sun for 3-4days and then hiding in hotels, cheap and delicious seafood though, love Sanya.

Brad F. said...

inthesun: That was one of the things that I found most shocking about Asia. It's hotter here, but they run the a/c less. Plus, in Singapore, there's no central a/c. Typically only the bedrooms have them.

Hippo: At first I was thinking, how is it hotter in Malaysia than Singapore? Then I realized it must have something to do with ocean breezes. Thanks for reminding me that it could always be worse! Ha ha ha!

Phoenixkidd said...

Wow, I never knew that part of China could get so hot in May! I guess that's another place to cross off my list, although I really would like to see Beijing.