Wednesday, 1 July 2009

How to ride out a heat wave...?

I swear, I didn’t grumble during the June inclement. Rainy, chilly, although sometimes humid days damned by everyone were like manna from heaven for me. Now, weather seems to be making up for the drizzly, cold weeks, this time going into another extreme.

On Monday I spent a few hours in air-conditioned shopping mall (Fashion Outlet Centre in Piaseczno), meandering between shops mostly to find out the great price reductions meant that totally unaffordable items became less unaffordable but still a bit pricey. You can cut the price by sixty per cent, from 299 down to 119 zlotys, but it’s still too much for the certain quality. I can pay for the quality but not for a brand tag. During the stroll I managed to find the real bargain at Franco Feruzzi’s – decent light blue, striped long-sleeve shirts for only 29,50 złoty per item, each reduced from 99 złoty – made of cotton (80 per cent) and polyester (20 per cent), rather thin and crease-resistant. And can be ironed without problems (not through wet handkerchief like the last bought on sale…). After two hours of shopping around I left the mall to feel the belch of hot, still air on my face. Over kilometre-long walk home was a real anguish, however sun, obscured by thin layer of clouds didn’t beat down so mercilessly…

If you don’t have to leave home when the temperature hits more than twenty five degrees you’re lucky. If you just have to go to town to do the shopping, etc. it’s not a tragedy. Today I decided to accustom myself to the unbearable heat and go for a walk in the full, burning sun at four p.m. I sauntered for about three quarters, totally calm and thus didn’t even get sweat. But do not consider it as a remarkable feat – I had only sandals, shorts and sleeveless T-shirt on. But if I put on a black suit, elegant shoes and did a tie, you’d be right to call me awesome imbecile…

At work it’s usually not a problem (I assume your company has a dress code which stipulates you need to wear a suit and doesn’t provide you with such useful facility as lockers). In the overwhelming majority of offices the air-conditioning system has been assembled and it’s always turned on (unless the employer is tight-fisted) whenever it’s boiling hot outside. The problems come up when you have to get to work somehow. Here there are a few steps where the troubles await. If you keep your car in the open air it might be already heated when you set off, even if it’s seven o’clock in the morning. To avoid that it’s advisable to keep your car in a garage. The worst may come if the park car where your car sits when you’re working is a sunny place. Leaving in the late afternoon you can turn up that your vehicle has just turned into an oven with the temperature reaching sixty degrees inside… If you don’t have air-con – just get in, open all windows and pull out, if you have the beneficial device, start the engine, switch the air-con on and wait for about five minutes. Then get in and enjoy your ride… If you have to fall back on public transport, you’re in a doghouse – you’ll pickle with tens of other sweat-trickling sinners waiting for your stop like a condemned spirit in a purgatory…

So maybe a puzzle:
How to feel a chilly breeze when the air is still, sultry and temperature exceeds thirty degrees?

- Get off the notorious Warsaw public transport bus (time bomb, make Solaris).
I’ve checked that method many times. No matter how hot it had been, I’ve always felt like a new man just after getting out of that hell on wheels.

It’s not a problem that I don’t like when it’s warm I really like... It’s a problem that warm for me means fifteen degrees. When other people have to wear jumpers, jackets, curl up and get goose pimples I feel comfortably having only a T-shirt on. However, temperatures like today’s mean an authentic anguish for me.

An ideal climate for me is the one from British Isles – mild winter, cool summer and lots of rainy days. People can’t stand it but it took my fancy, even though I’ve never been there. My face fell today after I read that the temperature in London hit thirty one degrees – as much as in Warsaw and that British weather authorities project that hot spells will haunt England more and more often and residents of Isles will have to prepare for it. Temperature in the UK may reach even up to forty degrees in the summers at the end of the current century.

My radio-clock started droning – it means the electrical storm is near (although still not in sight)

No comments: