I’m on four t-shirts a day. Four!I wouldn’t mind, but I only have seven, and one of those has holes appearing at the back of the collar and around my armpits. I’m guessing this means I need to get some new t-shirts for my birthday, or I move to a country where I don’t sweat constantly, but that might be a bit drastic, under the circumstances.
Why four? I hear you ask. Well, I need one for my business class in the morning. I go on my bike, so I’m lucky I don’t have to take an extra one for when I arrive there. I arrive about 10 minutes before the students turn up, just so that I can stand under the air-con and blow the sweat dry.
So that’s 1.
Then when I get back home, I go to the gym. I feel sorry for anyone waiting for a machine after me because it normally has sweat on there somewhere, and before you say anything, yes I do take a towel.
So that’s 2.
Then after a shower (number 2) I wear another t-shirt to do some writing, pick up the kids (literally as they do not walk in 40 degree heat) from school, have lunch, and walk to catch the metro.
So that’s 3.
Then I change for the final time once I’ve settled in my class, put on the air-con, and cooled down a little before my main classes begin.
So that’s 4, per day, 4 times a week.
No wonder my last three-month water bill was 134.34 euros, so high mainly because of my t-shirt washing necessities. For the last 3 weeks, as the summer sun in Sevilla has been steadily creeping up, those t-shirts have been getting a battering, just like everyone else living in one of the hottest cities in Europe.
Can someone make it illegal for countries to get so hot? Surely someone with power could step in and have a go at stopping temperatures soaring. Maybe someone could produce a giant machine that will push all heat to other, more needy countries, like Iceland. If Seville changed places with Iceland for just 5 minutes, the Island would no doubt disappear.
One of the reasons I came to Spain in the first place was for the weather. And I know I shouldn’t complain because we‘ve had glorious weather this year, apart from a few downpours, but these summer months are enough to test the toughest locals, expats, and even insects, the hardcore insects which thrive in these dirty temperatures.
Oh my god, I just felt some breeze through the window. The candle I have sitting on my table, the yellow one my wife loves to put down to sway the mosquitoes into going nearer her, just flickered, and I felt the breeze go over my sweaty brow – because I am actually sweating as I type as well. I bought some new sweat-proof headphones, but they just make my brow and back sweat instead of my ears.
The worst aspect of this terrific heat is that you just can’t go outside, and if you do you are risking your life. This Saturday I was examining in the afternoon, start time was 4pm – peak heat time. I had the great idea to ride there. So I rode about 2, maybe 3 km, at 3pm, mostly in the sun, with a hat on, and got to work, barely alive. As I arrived the other examiners told me I was brave, as if I’d just done a marathon through the desert wearing only flip flops. It felt like I had, basking through hair dryer after hair dryer to get to my destination. Luckily the room was air-conditioned, but even though it was set at 18 degrees, we were still feeling the heat as it was the hottest day of the year so far, a mere 42 degrees.
The biggest problem I have is that it just screws up the day. Especially with the kids. We need to get out the house before 10am, to at least enjoy half of a slide before the other half starts to absorb the heat. Then by mid-day it’s back here to play in the paddling pool, but even that gets too much and the water starts to boil, so by 1pm we are in the house, with the fans on, blinds down, hiding, waiting, and suffering, until about 7pm.
Then we might get lucky and have a bit of a walk before we have to get them ready for bed. The other day we left the house at 7.50pm to go see a procession in the town because my youngest daughter is obsessed with the processions; she’s only 2. Everyday when I get her home from nursery, instead of asking for Mickey Mouse or Frozen clips on Youtube, she wants to watch ‘pasos.’ When it went passed she said ‘Paso, chuli,’ which was adorable, and worth the sweaty walk down.
I feel sorry for her, because, unlike my son who seems to have adopted my wife’s sweat genes, which are virtually zilch, she has unfortunately got mine. So she sweats, a lot, which is not the most desirable qualities to look for in a potential partner, not that I’m trying to marry her off already.
Did I mention we don’t use the air-conditioning in the house? My theory is we have to build up a resistance to the heat, and not get used to using artificial methods of being comfortable, because as soon as we go to bed, and the air-con goes off, we will simply melt through our mattress, and mattresses are expensive so I don’t fancy buying another one.
So that’s where we are over in Seville. June is nearly gone, July and August, the worst two months (last year every day was over 42 degrees) are about to kick off, and piss everyone off in the meantime. I usually have about 3 or 4 days where I just go into a haze and am unable to do anything. I have to get up at 7am, just so I can go for a run without worrying that the soles on my shoes will start to melt.
So glad that I have air-con in the school where I work, otherwise teaching would just be unbearable. I feel so sorry for those kids, and teachers, who are in public schools with no cool air blowing on their faces. No wonder the schools are shutting this Friday, for almost 3 months, the heat is that bad there’s no way anyone would take anything in, even less than normal. We even got a message this week saying we could pick my son up at 12 instead of 2, just because it’s so damn heaty (I know that doesn’t exist, but that’s what the heat has done to my brain).
Do you live in Seville? How do you cope with the heat? Have you got a spare t-shirt you can lend me?