Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I think it's finally time to mention the heat

In an effort to survive the summer, I've been putting off thinking about or writing about the heat as it's only going to get worse. But this week, with temperatures consistently reaching 110 and humidity hovering between 60-70%, I think it's time. It also helps that in just a couple of hours, Brian and I are off to Spain for a week where the temps should be at least 20 degrees cooler. :)

As Wisconsinites, we really don't have much experience with hot weather. Yes, we lived in West Africa for 2.5 years, but we lived in the coldest city in the country (literally) so didn't suffer too much ... and it was a dry heat. The heat here is nothing close to dry; it's wet, sticky and uncomfortable. I've been trying to figure out just how to describe the heat as it's easy to complain about, but I want you to have an idea of what it feels like. Here are a couple of thoughts to try and share the experience.

  • When you walk outside, your glasses fog up ... when you walk back inside, your glasses fog up.
  • Within 5 minutes of walking outside, my armpits are damp, my hairline is damp and often I can see beads of sweat on the backs of my hands.
  • If there is a breeze, it feels like you're in front of a hot hair dryer. I think this is the biggest difference. In WI if it was that hot, you might get some relief from a cooler breeze - not here, the breezes are just as hot and don't help one bit.
  • A car windshield shade isn't just a good idea, it's a requirement if you're parked in the sun. Without it, you would literally burn your hands on the steering wheel.
  • When you get out of the pool and lay on a chair to 'dry off', you don't - instead, sweat replaces the water from the pool.
  • Sunglasses are another requirement as it's not only hot, but very very bright.
  • Makeup? Don't bother if you're going to be out more than about 15 minutes - it'll just melt down your face.
  • I've taken to carrying an umbrella if I have to walk in the sun for any distance. Without it, I really do feel like I'm getting an instant sunburn.
  • If you've experienced a sauna and a steam room, it's a bit like combining the two - not quite as hot as a sauna and not quite as steamy as a steam room, but something in the middle of both of them together is summer in Abu Dhabi.
So, for those of you back home complaining about the current heat wave in WI, all I can say is, imagine dealing with those temps for 3 months! And now, I'm off to pack a sweater for Spain. :)

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