Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's Getting Hot In Here

Current temperature: 42C/108F

It is sometimes hard for me to believe that I am spending my third summer in Delhi. And if anything has changed for me, it is that I have almost no patience for people in the US or Europe who complain about their local weather – y’all know who y’all are. I can honestly say that unless you have spent a summer in a place like India, with the same conditions faced here, you really have nothing at all to complain about.

First off, there is the temperature that climbs to over a hundred in April and stays there pretty much through September. The weather forecast for this week is steady at 41C/105F. This is actually a bit cooler than it was just a week or so ago. And those temperatures won’t change much until September or so, although they might occasionally and for a very limited time dip down after a small rainstorm that raises the humidity to very high levels.

Buildings, including homes, are not built with nice insulation keeping desired temperatures in while keeping the undesired out. Buildings here are made of concrete. And if you happen to be as smart as a fifth grader, you will know that concrete absorbs and holds the heat. So it is a constant battle between the ceiling fan and/or air conditioner and the hot walls, which is usually fine until the ceiling fans or air conditioner turn off.

Why would anyone turn off the fans or the AC? Well, we don’t. We don’t have to. The regular power outages take care of that. Often, like yesterday evening, the power goes out for a few hours and within minutes, the indoor temperature climbs. It can quickly be hotter in the house than it is outside. Ok, maybe it is still over a hundred outside, but at those temperatures, very single degree is felt and suddenly one has to choose between sitting on the “cooler” terrace or in the oven of a house.

And don’t even get me started on the dust storms, having to get around Delhi in those mobile microwave ovens known as rickshaws with hot exhaust fumes coming in at every direction and the almost complete lack of cold water. Try taking a semi-cold shower to cool off and you will find the sweat is dripping before the toweling off has even finished.

But one bit of good news is, I actually like the heat. It doesn’t bother me so much. I am just tired of everyone else complaining about how bad they have it. I can honestly say that for the bulk of those complaining, you don’t even know what heat is.

And then there was the that one evening last week when I stepped out of the house in temperatures that could not have been higher than 102 and seriously felt a bit of a chill and wondered if I should have worn my jeans instead of shorts.

No comments:

Post a Comment