A different creature

When I go to Argentina mid March, I expect nice, decent temperatures. Maybe a 30C at first, but in the second half or the month they are supposed to dive below the 30ies. That is what I had in my head when booking this trip. Not too late because we are tired of the darkness and greyness of our ever lasting winter up north : we need sun energy! But not too early to be struck by the summer heat, that’s the idea. So mid March is perfect.

But we didn’t count on global warming. When I ask the taxi driver upon arrival wether we are now having an ‘el niño’ or a ‘la niña’ he tells me that nobody has a clue. It’s now another creature ruling the weather. It’s been the hottest summer ever, and there is yet another extreme heatwave coming, for which not just the driver, but every one we meet, warns us.

Coming from the cold we are extra vulnerable to the heat, but I remember the hot summer months (January and February) which were so uncomfortable that we tried to escape them as much as possible, and now we would never even consider traveling to Argentina in those months.

Slowly the heat is mounting, and when I go grocery shopping on Saturday the streets are empty. Most people have either left town or remain inside with the air conditioning. Everybody has been warned, and as this is the 10th extreme heat wave this year, they all know what to do, or rather : what not to do.

In no time I start sweating, the sweat, mixed with sun protection drips through my lashes in my eyes and stings. I wonder why I bothered putting that protection : the only moment the sun touches my face is when I cross the street. No way I voluntary leave the shade!

The sweat runs down my back. Basically it runs down my whole body. I walk slowly, every breath is one too many, while at the same time I try to get home as fast as possible. I think about hell, and wonder if it would feel like this. (Not that I believe in hell 🥴, it’s just a matter of speaking).

I remember how hot the summers were, but I had actually forgotten how they feel!

But things are looking bright. I know we have the possibility to leave the city too. We feel extremely lucky for that!

We drive south, and after a while we see the car thermometer go up to 40C. We can not believe it and blame it on a glitch in this rental car. But when we arrive at the house they tell us it is indeed 40C. I check 2 thermometers on 2 different spots in the shade to be certain : I still can’t believe it. They both show 42C, only to go up to 44C later on. If I thought this morning was hell, I realize hell is here.

But then comes that moment of delight, call it the most enjoyable moment of the day. That moment, after you exchanged your clothes with a swimsuit and jump in that pool. The water might be warm, maybe 30C or so, in normal circumstances you would say that it is way too warm, but here and now it is the extreme feeling of refreshment. I let myself float on the water. Eyes closed -because the sun is too bright- and I enjoy, this feels so good, light, I am weightless! This is thé moment of the day, that makes me forget all the rest. I get out of the pool and for half a minute I am cold. Probably for 10 seconds. There is no other way then to dive back in within minutes!

How hard life can be!

Photo by Leilani Angel on Unsplash

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