Thursday, May 03, 2012

The first lick

Summer gave us a healthy, sloppy kiss over the May Day holiday. The comfortable spring temperatures gave way to the sapping, sweaty, saunaesque summery weather that occupies Guangzhou for half a year. The difference of a month and a half since I was in Qingyuan for New Year is so clear: the depth of winter matching close to a heatwave that matches most in the middle of summer. Or is it a omen for a steamer unlike no other.
Either way, it was a reminder that my body is ill-equipped for this climate. My body presented a mystery in the first year, hypothesized itself in the second year and confirmed itself in the third: my body takes time to adjust. Psychologically I'm fine with heat but my digestive system, my nervous system and circulatory system beg to differ. After eating my first mouthfuls of dinner at QIngyuan, I asked to leave upstairs for the comfort of a fan and the chance to lie horizontally. My stomach didn't want food, my appetite disappeared. My brain was cloudy; I could barely understand Chinese; my chess ability had been cowed. My heart felt a-flutter and my body just felt so hot. Recent days in similar weather I've coped better and started to adjust. It's just par for the course.
I'm not sure if I'm doing any better but I'm not doing any worse. In a few days this will be a memory, yet I'll still be sweating. Summer is here. Barefoot days. Shirtless days. Days on the balcony drinking tea. Swimming in the mornings. Sudden downpours. Air conditioners puffing bursts as you walk by. Girls in less than usual. Guys doing their paunch-shows. Slip-ons, jandals, and mosquitoes biting the flesh in between.

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