You felt it, didn’t you?

You felt it, didn’t you?

Since Wednesday there has been a shift… When you walk outside you can feel… the heat cometh!

In Merida, hot temperatures and high humidity are not unknown from November to March. We do have steamy days and sultry nights but during those months it’s as though the heat comes from an isolated source. From November to March when it’s hot I feel as though I’m standing in front of an open oven door or heating vent. I know that when the peak hours (10 am – 6 pm) pass, it will get much cooler… and it does.

However, the heat we’re poised to receive for the next seven to eight months does not feel like it is reflecting from a nearby hot spot… it is an all pervasive part of the environment…

Mercifully, there’s usually some relief in the evenings because the breeze blows in from the Gulf of Mexico. But the humidity is still so heavy. If you think you can “take the heat”… these coming months will test your mettle.

March to November separates the men from the boys… so to speak. I must be truthful and place myself in the      “sniveling baby” category. I’ve been known complain and look for air-conditioning anywhere I go. But after living here for such a long time, I have learned that its much better to work with the heat. Fighting it is a losing battle. Here are a few of my strategies…

H… Have water at your side all the time; drink at least 8 glasses a day and eat lightly

E… Exercise during the early morning or late evening; always walk on the shady side of the street

A… Attitude is important; don’t obsess about the heat

T… Take a siesta during the hot hours; staying rested will keep you cool

If you have access to a pool, this is a Godsend. Submerging your full body in the water will cool your core and bring your temperature down. Air conditioning (at least in the bedroom) is another blessing…

Actually, I don’t dislike the feel of the heat except when I have to get “dressed up.” Make-up running down my face, hair wilting and clothing sticking to me like Saran-Wrap is not a pleasant experience… I have built up a wardrobe of light-weight cotton blouses, Capri-length pants and strappy sandals. Don’t worry about being seen in the same clothing all the time. Be comfortable.

There are days when even my best laid strategies fall short of the intended result. There are days when the heat gets to me and when that’s the case… I retire to my room. Don’t push yourself too hard…

And do keep in mind that November is only about 220 sleeps away!

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4 Comments

Filed under Vida Latina

4 responses to “You felt it, didn’t you?

  1. Paul Rounds

    My cleaning lady, Marta, informed me this week that the heat had arrived. She considers herself quite a weather girl so your post is right on the money. Before Marta’s confirmation, I had this inkling someone had turned the heat setting up a few notches.

    Thanks for the perspective. 220 sleeps doesn’t seem so undoable. I’m headed for my hammock right.

    • Yes, Marta probably is a weather oracle. When you live in the same area for many many years, you become very sensitive to small changes in the “textures” around you. Your hammock is a good place to spend a hot afternoon!

  2. Might add, that it does pay to become “acclimated.” Although I, too, bemoan the heat, I remember the time that I’d actually duck into an ATM “cage” for some relief. I no longer need to do that, FORtunately!

    Let me say, too, that our “things” need care as well–pay attention to the recommended operating temperature maximums of your computer, for example. And books stored in too much humidity can suffer a slow death as well. I moved my belongings here shortly after the last hurricane, and I sure learned a lot, fast.

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