Heat

We’re under a heat wave. Definitely under, not riding it. Submerged.

It’s too hot. Too hot outside, too hot inside. Hotter than it has been in decades — more than a century.

It’s not going to be getting any better. In a few years I’ll probably have ceiling fans. Or portable AC.

For the time being I’m getting by with normal fans, and being smart about opening and closing windows, and keeping blinds down. As soon as the air outside is warmer than inside, I keep everything airtight. And no sun shines inside.

It’s a bit dreary. And it makes it hard to do things like work.

I’ve seen worse heat. In India. But India has ceiling fans, high ceilings, and AC in many places.

My building absorbs heat and keeps radiating it inside during the night. It’s not so much the air as the walls that are the issue.

So, in India. The pace of life is different. It is heat-compatible. Trying to live a Swiss life with nasty heat isn’t fun at all.

My feet are soaking in a tub of water as I write, and it’s 9.30pm. I used that trick to work this afternoon — thanks to Gabriel who mentioned it on Facebook when I complained about struggling to work in the heat.

This afternoon, it was 34.5 in the shade on my balcony. 30 inside. 28 downstairs at eclau, at my desk. 30 in the conference room.

Quintus is suffering. He lies down on his side, vacant stare, spread out like a tropical cat. He’s taken to flopping down in various places (good thing he’s the blind one or I’d be stepping on him), including the bathroom rug. I try not to worry.

I plan to escape to the mountains a little next week. To work. I’m at this stage in my project that I can’t take time off, though I’d really like to right now. I actually have a lot of work to do. This heat isn’t helping. So I’m planning on heading to the chalet to work. Not the way I’d want to be heading to the chalet. But I need to escape from here.

I remember doing that last year already (not to work).

This is not going to be getting better. We will have scorching hot summers and freezing winters. Dry spells and flooding rain. It’s more comfortable to think we can do something about it by buying carbon offset or foregoing a car. But the truth is that impact will come from policy level. So… if you want to make a difference, become one of those people who make the rules or vote on them. That’s how to operate change.

It’s actually cooler in Pune right now than it is in Lausanne. How ironic.

Tonight I will sleep with everything open. Blinds and windows. I will not sleep well. I will dream of AC or a ceiling fan. I will wonder about the mosquitoes buzzing around, and mosquito nets. I will imagine that before I die, my experience living in a tropical country will serve me again — in a very different part of the world.


Originally published at Climb to the Stars.