It’s incredible to be at mid-August and to know that these glorious hot and sunny days — a perpetual summer of sorts — are going to continue. After spending months hearing folks up north whine about how hot it is, I’ll soon get to hear them whine about how cold it is and how they want to go somewhere with better weather. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to host them by then. 🙂
I used to hate cold and snow and winter until I thought I was stuck with them for life and learned to embrace them. And then, I took a train ride to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, in late June of 2007. It was then that I first had the life altering realisation that not everyone in the world lives in difficult climates where you only get a few precious weeks of glorious sunny weather.
It was in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2009 that I first experienced living in a climate of unrelenting heat for an entire season. I was quite heavy back then and it was difficult to handle the heat, but all that sunshine revitalised me.
And it was in Mazatlán, Mexico, over the course of of the 2014-2015 winter that a rather lighter me discovered that she can thrive in a hot, humid, sunny climate. I learned from the locals how to keep my house comfortable and clean without air conditioning and how to keep myself from getting heat stroke walking upwards of 20KM in 30C/86F or higher temperatures at all times of day as I explored Mazatlán. I knew by the end of those first six months that while I have housekeeping-related issues with living in a humid tropical climate, it makes for a much healthier me. I make much better diet choices and I don’t have my skin issues here, plus the sunshine helps my mood tremendously.
So, really, I had no qualms in moving to Mérida no matter how many people — mostly Mexicans! — warned me about the heat here. But very surprisingly, I’ve been here since May and have yet to experience temperatures that come close to what I had to deal with in Bulgaria last year. I don’t think we’ve passed 35C/95F plus humidity here while it rarely dipped below 40C/104F plus humidity over there!
The construction of the house I’m minding and the owners’ wishes dictate that I keep the AC on 24/7 to keep humidity levels low. My compromise that I run the AC at about 28C/82F, which is still warm enough that if I’m doing something physical, like cleaning or exercising, I can still get overheated. This means that there is very little contrast with the temperature outside and I never have that moment of, oh, I don’t want to go out because it’s so much more comfortable in here.
The only time I have issues with the climate is the same as many Meridanos — spending time in my truck in the city. I’m sure there are idiots who don’t realise that cars get very hot in even a cooler climate, with temperatures reaching as high as 50C/122F (or more) if you are unable to park in the shade, and who would perceive my having a problem being in such an environment as being unable to handle the local climate.
Well, a very long day of running around like last Thursday could have been life threatening. I actually took my temperature when I got home and even with all the precautions I took to stay cool during the day — waiting in AC or on the sidewalk in the shade rather than my truck, drinking plenty of liquids, and enjoying the cool breeze on the long stretch of highway between Mérida and home — I was still hyperthermic (feverish) when I got in, with a temperature of almost 39C/102F.
The “truck days” are what wipe me out here because I’m spending time in temperatures of 20C/36F more than the actual ambient temperature. It’ll be nice when I live in town and can ditch the truck and walk almost everywhere. I also know from Bulgaria that even if I get the AC fixed on the truck, that doesn’t necessarily mean much if I’m stuck driving in full sun with no shade, but it’ll help and, of course, make it much easier to get groceries home. A cooler works great for a spell, but then turns into an oven!
I took yesterday off to catch up on my exterior chores. I did all the hard work before the sun got too high in the sky around 11:30AM, then retired to a lounge chair in partial shade with a book, a beer, and Puppy until the sun backed off a bit. Then, I got back to whipping the garden into shape. I probably spent more actual time outside than I did on Thursday and was comfortable and energetic all day. It was a really relaxing day that I really needed.
I’m heading back into Mérida first thing tomorrow for my first meeting with the owners of the house I’m hoping to rent. Thankfully, I’m going straight there so that I won’t look too crumpled. Let’s just say I wasn’t at my freshest by my 4PM on Thursday. 🙂
Here’s another teaser/hint about the house, an aerial view of it. Notice the incredible luxury of it not sharing any walls with neighbours: