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.