Monday, May 3, 2010

Mierda! It's Hot in Mérida!

It is nearly 8pm, I just got out of the pool, showered and I feel refreshed and comfortable.  We started our EVENING SWIMS again.  From Mon thru Fri at 6pm we open the gates. If you have read previous blogs, you know it's not a large or grand pool, it is the only pool around.  The morning exerciser(s) come back in the evening just to cool down the body temp, and others come to move around a bit and then relax.  Our evening hour is more laid back than the morning hour, at 8am, when we really walk around in circles a lot, and everyone has his/her own exercise agenda.  Oh yeah, I am happy to have the evening swims again. 

The Mérida summer heat has set in for real. The outside temperature is still 96.8°.  The fans are blasting hot air.  We are using the big guns, the helicopter fans.  Big loud round fans with names like CYCLONE, etc. They are noisy but move plenty of air.  Unfortunately they don't cool the air they just move around the hot stuff.  But at least it's air.  When the humidity is high and the air is so thick it's practically liquid, it's refreshing to have dry air blowing on you. When you are sweating profusely the fan cools you as it dries the dripping perspiration. Maybe it doesn't sound that appealing, but it sure feels great.

You change your drinking habits when it is this hot because you are always thirsty.  Never leave home without a bottle of drinking water; in my case I don't leave the kitchen without at least a big cup of ice water.  I make six trays of ice twice a day because I like my beverages cold.  That idiosyncracy is left over from my living on a boat for three months without refrigeration, just an empty cooler longing for ice, in the tropics, crossing the equator. Since then, 1990, I admit to being a little anal about having ice in the freezer.  I am willing to maintain a big zip bag of it and I am generous with it.  All I care about is I feel like a new person chugging an ice cold Coke.  Oh, I mean water.  Speaking of ice, ten minutes ago I filled a glass with ice and water.  I sucked up the water in two gulps and the ice is almost gone.  Ten minutes.  After a couple weeks I will be bored with water and move on to iced tea, try this year's new flavors of Tang, make fresh lemonade, and who knows what.  This year the Tang flavors are from all the countries in the world cup....El Mundial, which is coming up soon.  I've already tasted the surprisingly refreshing plum flavor from Argentina, and something wickedly (too) sweet from Brazil. 

If you are planning to EAT on a day like today, you have to plan for that early.  I finally understand why in Fiji (the first place I exprienced this) the women cooked dinner early in the morning, right after serving breakfast.  By mid-day it is too bloody hot to be considering using a hot stove. On the days I decide to cook, I often opt for the crock pot because it causes the least external heat... so we eat lots of Wodarski stews.  They could be anything.  Other days I prepare food that we can eat later, but cold, like potato salad and roasted chicken.  Of course because we are human we also occasionally do use the stove when it is 100° during the hottest part of the evening.  Tonight Pablo made us dinner so he's recuperating with the helicopter fan on high for a spell.  Like I said, I am still refreshed from the pool!

Deciding late in the day to prepare dinner is no problem in this climate.  A package of meat will thaw in less than an hour at room temp, but you have to stay on top of that one, because no one wants ecoli.  Another issue is salt.  We lose a lot of salt when we sweat.  Remember the days people who sweat a lot took salt pills?  When you find you are craving salted nuts or chips, eat'em because you need'em.  We like to use sea salt because I have convinced myself it is actually GOOD for me. 

By evening, it seems that everything you touch feels cuddly warm.  Not that you are looking for CUDDLY warm, au contraire!  The bed seems to generate its own heat at night after a long hot day.  Therefore
this is the time of year it is more comfortable to sleep in the hammock, as the air flow helps you reach a comfortable temperature allowing you to sleep.  There is a short period of time just before dawn when I want a sheet, and just after dawn I wake up when Buster pulls my hair to let me know I am late serving breakfast in the cat world.  At that time, around 6:30ish, it is already at least 80°.  So by the time we get into the pool at 8am, it's starting to warm up for the day.  The pool is maintaining an 85°F average, and I swear that morning swim, using the term loosely, is the best way to start the day.  I am such a wuss when the air is cold and the pool isn't mid80s that I am happy for the heat.

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