Thursday, September 1, 2016

The heat is hot

Not a bad office view

I'm slowly discovering what it means to be Canadian.

I am Canadian. To me, this means that I always want to be slightly cold (cold enough to carry around a favourite sweater), while talking about being someplace warmer, like in the Caribbean near the ocean. Canadians like this more than actually being someplace warmer like in the Caribbean near the ocean. Because then we realize we don't know how to deal with the heat.

Ottawa has been hot this summer. The humidex has consistently been in the thirties. I keep bailing out on my running partner because I've realized that running in the heat at 4:30PM is THE WORST. I've had a few moments this summer while playing soccer where I had the dawning realization: I hate summer. I miss the Arctic. I miss the Arctic.

Here in Georgetown, I've moved out of my hotel into my apartment, and, consequently, into reality. I'd comfortably avoided it for a day, hopping from air conditioned hotel room to air conditioned cab to air conditioned offices, but now with my real Guyanese apartment I have to face real Guyanese weather. And Guyana is hot, hot like hot wings with hot chocolate in hell. I spent my first afternoon in the apartment, lying under the crumpled mess that was my mosquito net that I was too hot to figure out how to set up, as South American mosquitoes eagerly munched on my toes, probably giving me Zika as a thank you gift. I felt my body slowly melt away into a liquid pool of sweat, and wondered how the f-ck anyone manages to get any work done around here with the heat. I was too hot to get up and drag myself into the shower to cool down, let alone think about work.
my unexpectedly spacious new apartment

In case you wanted to know what my bathroom looked like.

A couple folks in town have mentioned Georgetown's new CrossFit gym to me and I'm like HAHAHA sob no I can't I'm a disgusting mess just by existing.

My new apartment seems luxurious by local standards. It's located behind an autobody shop and print shop. Tiny cute lizards crawl along the walls (much better than dealing with cockroaches or mice!).

Neighbourhood alley
 The apartment came fully furnished, including several pictures of Jesus on the wall and a beer opener. I not only have my own bedroom with a big bed but also my own bathroom. The bed came with sheets and pillows too. "But why aren't there any blankets?" I asked myself naively, before I realized there is no need of blankets here ever, pretty much.

This fan = my best friend
It also has a gorgeous upper balcony with a lovely breeze and a cozy view overlooking the palm trees and family life in the backyards below, so I am thankful for that. On the other hand, like many houses, I don't have screens on my windows so I'm sharing my room with a bunch of hungry hungry hippos thirsty thirsty mosquitos.

On another note, a few folks have mentioned to me that it's been unusually cool in Georgetown lately.

Deciding that acclimatization would come in degrees, I decided to escape my reality and take my dinner at the extravagantly air conditioned Pegasus Hotel. I have no idea what happened to adventurous Gloria-in-her-twenties who saw the equatorial heat as another adventure and would spend the evenings cooling down by drinking beers in the shebeens of southern Africa. Now I'm in my thirties, always a little tired, and I just always want to be slightly cold. I don't know what happened. Oh right. I moved to the Arctic in between.

In case you were wondering, the hotel cafe, separated from the swimming pool and the poolside bar by a blissfully air-conditioned glass wall, was freaking wonderful. I ordered a curry meal that was hot enough to make me cry a little. Because that's how I want to sweat. In an air-conditioned room through spicy food.