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Monday, 27 May 2013

Summer Paradox



We had been warned about the summer but at the back of my mind, I thought, these guys are exaggerating, surely it cannot be that bad. We had been told that temperatures would hit 45 degrees and we thought, “bring it on, that does not sound so bad.” Little did we know. As January turned into February, the heavy blankets of winter were quickly packed away. Suddenly, we all seemed to have lost some kilos as the extra layers of clothes vanished into the deep recesses of the cupboard never to be used again. I began to wonder what the hullabaloo about winter was all about and why I had gone out of my way to buy winter clothes. February turned into March and the overhead fan came on. Our landlord had told us that by April, we would need an air conditioner ( AC) – which he was not providing by the way. As the days grew warmer, I began to sympathize with my very resilient family. I began to marvel at the wonder of childhood. Despite it getting warmer every day, the kids seemed to just get along with it. They did not seem bothered at all. M suddenly developed a liking for sleeping on the floor. When asked why she likes it, she says she just likes it period. My sixth sense tells me it is because the floor is cooler than her bed sheet. And, indeed, upon lying down on the bed sheet, it feels like the bed sheet has just been ironed 2 seconds before your skin touched it, great feeling for the winter, but not so great when you already feel that your skin is on fire. I have officially banned hugs in my house. I have warned all the gals to only give me a hug once a week preferably when it is cool. The kids are yet to catch on to this concept. My one year old has learnt that it is suicidal to go onto the balcony while barefoot. It is quite an interesting sight to see her running frantically through the house in search of her crocs whenever she discovers that we are about to go outside. Experience is the best teacher I tell you. She has experienced the feeling of hot concrete on bare feet. Our kitchen is now a certified steam room  and my wife is glowing every time she emerges from it.  She now has an exercise routine. She wakes up early, at 5 am and either goes for a walk or does the laundry. After the walk , she spends some time in the steam room as she prepares breakfast for the family. If it’s a laundry day, she gets to spend time in the sauna, then dry up in the steam room. Beat that for living in a multifunctional, ecological , energy efficient, space saving neo- environment. The other day, she was annoyed with me, so she went to the bathroom, poured water on the floor and had a 1 hr sauna session contemplating her next move. The cooking pots and utensils are hot all the time. A sufuria hanging on the rack feels like you have just boiled something in it 5 minutes ago. I bet it takes food half the time to cook as it is already hot by the time it hits the equally hot pot/sufuria. Which makes me wonder, why is it that I am baby sitting for longer hours nowadays as she ostensibly cooks… this calls for an investigation. The fridge has declared ‘siwesmake’. It has refused to cool anything below the upper compartment and putting food for 24hrs in it is now a pipe dream.  I can now conserve the towel as it has become the most unnecessary invention to use after taking a bath. Just put on your clothes and you will be dry in no time. Bed time has now become a ritual, put the kids to bed, soak yourself in cold water..clothes and all… until you are dripping wet, walk around the room to allow the water to drip down to the floor, pour some water on the bed or better yet, soak the whole bed sheet in water and wring only lightly, then plop yourself on it before the whole thing dries up then pray that sleep overtakes you before the bed dries up. Thank God for sleep. “Unajua kama umerara, ni kama umekufa nusu!”  When the kids wake up in the morning, the first stop is the kitchen, to drink up copious amounts of luke warm water.  Despite all this, I have to carry a sweater to school.  The AC in the library and other buildings is something else. It is like being in a cool box and even with those low temperatures someone will come and turn on the fan right above my head. I therefore wear a sweater when I go into buildings and remove it on my way out. What a paradox!

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