Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On temperatures

I cannot tell you how relieved I was when I one day left the house and found that the thermometer showed below, not just 90 F, but 80 F. It might also have shown below 70 F, but the angle of it makes me unsure (let’s face it – I’m as terrible at reading thermometers as I am at reading maps. In general, my reading ability seems to be directed singularly towards words). The point it, the temperatures are falling.

(Note: as a European, of course Fahrenheit makes very little sense to me. I have learned that 90 is “horrid”, 80 is “slightly better” and anything below 70 is approaching “normal summer”. For the sake of this post I will, however, abandon my personal converting system and use a certified converter. Just for your sake.)

Since I arrived in the US, the DC-region has had temperatures ranging in the upper 80s and 90s constantly [85 F = 29 C; 95 F = 35 C]. I wouldn’t be complaining (officially I’m not. Officially I am gloating, since back home it’s been ranging from 50 F [10 C] to 70 F [21 C]…), but since the (to me) unusually high temperatures have been accompanied with equal high humidity... To be frank -  it’s been murder. For long days at the beach, it would have been wonderful. For walking in an asphalt jungle, not so much.

The only remedy is trying to cool down. Most effectively, by staying inside (air-condition is a blessing sent from above – possibly the North Pole). If you have to move outside, try to drink endless amounts of cold water (oxymoron right there – how to keep water from boiling when you are?). Other good advice includes using an umbrella to block the sun, bringing extra shifts of clothes, and showering twice a day.

Even though I do all of these things, I’ve still been unbearable hot at times (my determination to walk everywhere isn’t helping). So it felt wonderful when I, for the first time in a month, wondered whether I should bring a sweater. That we, for the first time since I came here, could open the windows for more than a few minutes at the time. And for the first time the humidity was so low that it felt almost like I was breathing air, not steam.

Next post: on barometers (I swear, it’s a joke…)


Watery Tart said...

I enojyed your temperature comments. But I ADORED that I got to go through and mark all of your posts as 'giraffy' BUWAHAHAHAHA! You're terribly clever...

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yeah, it’s the humidity in DC that just saps the energy from you. It’s a killer. Now, take yourself back to 1800. John Adams, the second President has just moved into an almost finished Whitehouse,..and Ops, guess what, the forgot the air conditioning. Ugh. Yeah, the founding fathers had it tough. How DC became DC—and our nation’s capital—is and interesting story. If you don’t know it, and have some time to kill, it’s an interesting read. Joseph Ellis in Founding Brothers does a pretty good short version…it’s associated with Assumption, I think is the name of the chapter.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Ohhhh....the humidity. Don't get me started!

Here in the South, we go from an air conditioned building to an air conditioned car to an air conditioned office--we're the original bubble people!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - some say clever, some say obsessed... Glad to hear I finally earned myself some "giraffies", though ;)

Galen - I'm just impressed they decided to settle here at all pre-AC - I can only guess that they didn't arrive in July or August...
I haven't dug into the DC-history, but I've gotten a taste during my touristy adventures. I am looking forward to learning more :)

Elizabeth - the South must be even hotter and humider (is that a word? Never fear - if not, the English language surely needed it) than up here... I do not envy you (except the AC - my room really needed AC for a while there - now I can just crack a window).

And may I say thank you all to such lovely comments even to a little post about the weather? I "giraffy" this!

hopelessbratt said...

I just spent an enjoyable half hour catching up on all your blogposts, and like Tami, loved clicking the giraffy button. Weather in DC is terrible from what I hear(never been there), but in Wisconsin it's alright.We have a saying here, 'If you odn't like the weather, wait a few minutes and it'll change.' We go for a couple days of unholy heat and humidity and then a week of chilly days wearing sweatshirts and long pants.

Keep up the good work on your blogging!

Cruella Collett said...

Maria - Wisconsin sounds just like Norway. Well, except the heat and humidity-part ;) Glad you enjoy the blog!

Related Posts with Thumbnails