Monday, May 23, 2005

Enuff z'nuff! Or is it?

The lingering after-effects of my flu, and the crappy weather we've been having in Basel - ENOUGH ALREADY!
Fortunately, my health seems to be improving, AND I just looked at Basel's weather forecast and discovered that the weather is going to be making a dramatic improvement beginning tomorrow - maybe too much of a dramatic improvement.
By Wednesday, the temperature is going to soar into the low 30s (Bob: That's about 88 F. Bob's a friend from Chicago who complained about me exclusively using the metric system on the blog!), which means that we're going to go directly from cool and damp to hot and sticky. I like sunny and warm, but I'm not crazy about sunny and hot.
Hot weather in Basel is a real inconvenience for a heavy sweater such as yours truly. As you've probably heard me say many times before, air conditioning is basically non-existent in Switzerland. That means that when I go to my German conversation class and it's 35 degrees outside, I ride a tram that's about 40 degrees, arrive at the class all sweaty, and sit in a classroom for an hour that's about 38 degrees (Bob: that's about 100 F). I always bring a small dish towel so that I can mop the old chrome dome, and I also use a little fan that I bought in Spain. I know it's kind of gay, but nobody ever says anything to me. I think they see the heat-tormented look in my eyes and realize that any comment at all could result in their being checked-in to the Hotel Whupass!
Now, I don't mind sitting in a hot room if it's a sauna and sweating is the intended purpose. But, if the main reason for being in this hot room is anything other than sweating (i.e. learning, shopping, eating, sleeping, etc.), the "too hot" part distracts me by becoming my primary focus and causes me to become quite irritable (I'm sure Mrs. TBF is rolling her eyes up into her head right now after reading what amounts to the understatement of a lifetime!).
But hey...what can you do? I've lived here for almost five years now, and it gets hot every summer. So, I just make the best of it. When I'm at home, I pretty much live in shorts with no shirt and I sit in front of a fan. When I leave the house, I wear the lightest possible clothing and make sure to bring my dish towel and Spanish fan. We eat dinner out on the balcony and sleep with the windows wide open - plus I have a fan blowing on me about 30 cm (that's about 12 inches) away from my head.
I guess I can't complain too much. It wasn't really that long ago that I used to have to wear a shirt and tie when the weather in Chicago reached the 90s (there Bob...ya happy?), and the humidity would be about 88%. I'd make sales calls, and one of my customers would inevitably choose this specific day to give me a tour of their cutting-edge blast furnace, or something of that ilk, that would result in me sweating out about one-third of my body weight in five minutes only to be absorbed completely by my t-shirt and white dress-shirt. Naturally, this would be the first call of the day, and then I'd hop in my company car, blast the air conditioning, and emerge about fifteen minutes later with a nearly frozen shirt. This freeze/thaw cycle would last for a few hours until I couldn't take it any more , and then I'd just blow off the rest of my work day (usually right after having lunch with a customer) and go swim laps in the pool at my health club.
All this talk about heat is starting make me feel warm. I think I'll go set up the fans around the apartment. I'll be too sweaty if I wait until Wednesday to do it.

1 comment:

The Medium Swede said...

I do appreciate the use of fahrenheit. We after all live in America and don't bend to others, they bend to us!