I like the sun. I like it enough not to complain and not owning an umbrella even though it rains. It wasn’t always like that. I stayed 4 weeks in England and realized that I’m done complaining about the scorching heat in Malaysia. Truly we Malaysians are blessed with the most beautiful weather on the planet.

My first 2 weeks in Madrid was spent wondering why did my nose bleed so much – it was because of the low humidity. You can wash your linen and hung it in closed quarters and it will dry out perfectly. You don’t even smell even if you don’t bathe for a week. Your perfume would last till evening and lingers till the next morning if you skip your evening splash. You won’t have pimples because suddenly your skin will have this matte finish and your hair looks fabulous (apparently there are more dandruff in humid places). You will drink a lot of water but not having to go to the toilet, be it 6 liters. You won’t sweat either so not washing clothes is not a big problem.

But people suddenly dropped and died.

It’s called hyperthermia or heat stroke and it happens quite often. In summer most part of Spain they will have trouble with distribution of clean water and many didn’t put much concern in drinking a lot of water. You didn’t notice your body is dehydrated because you don’t sweat much (even if you run) and the sun didn’t scorch, it just beamed like a nice little friendly microwave roasting you until you dry.

Of course I am thankful, though I have to reapply my sunscreen once every 3-4 hours, take a bath 2-3 times a day, shampoo and condition hair every 2 days, pimples every now and then, air my clothes, the lot. At least I don’t drop dead because it’s too hot.

I think this is typical Mediterranean weather. It gets better to the north, towards the south of France.

As I move towards to the north of France, the weather gets gloomy (for me), even in summer. The temperature starts from 9 degrees in the morning. It rains almost all the time with about 5-10 minutes intervals of tiny spots of sunlight. England was nothing I expected. I read a lot of English writers and deducted that it rains a lot, windy and wearing boots and windbreaker are good measure of protection but I was totally not prepared of the frequency of the rain and the iciness of the wind (now I understand why Rooney has pink cheeks) and I had to wear 4 layers of outfits just to go out. Thermal camisole and stockings are the greatest inventions. Umbrella doesn’t function very well here especially up north towards Scotland.

There wasn’t much wind in Czech Republic or Belgium. It rained but never with a deafening thunderstorm. Nothing could compare to Malaysian rain. It pours like a bursting dam in half an hour while a Belgium rain tickles down the sky in polite drops from morning until evening. When it rains in Spain (in summer, once, for about less than 4 minutes in 3 months) everyone was on the street celebrating it. It was a big deal apparently. I was looking through my window thinking about going out to join in the fun and suddenly it was over.

Darn! This is not rain! I’ve seen toilet flushing longer than this. Urgh! Even I can’t understand why I was so mad at the unpredictable rain.

I remember as I wait for the underground train the little misses and madame bring out their little fans and complained loudly of the heatwave. It was 27 degrees while the temperature on the streets was 24-25 degrees. Me being a person who lives in a 33-39 degrees climate feels that this is a blessing. I have no reason to say anything bad. So when the weather conversation started I would highlight that there are places worse than this place, the reason why it got hotter and unbearable is mostly the fault of the human himself. Sooner or later it will come down to this eventually.

The cold countries would get warmer (which is good for them and their agriculture development) and the warm countries would get hotter which would not make a good news. You would spend more money on energy to cool the environment and there is no other remedy. More pollution, more disease, more stress, etc. But life goes on no matter what.

So what’s left for us to do?

I’d say let’s buy a really good sunscreen and bask in the sun while it shines.

I recommend Coppertone.

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