It is so hot in Japan. Unimaginably hot. I hear some readers of my blog wonder whether I’ve stopped blogging. I haven’t, but it’s so hot I can barely think. My observational skills are severly dulled by the heat. Of course, it doesn’t help that you have to walk everywhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been this acquainted with my own sweat before now.
A couple weeks ago, the temperature in Tokyo hit a record high that was higher than the average temperature in New Delhi, India — 39.5 degrees celsius if that means anything (you’ll have to do your own conversion to farenheit because the heat has also turned up my laziness. The fall, winter or spring me might have provided a link but not the summer me).
The actual temperature, I believe, was higher because they apparently take the official temperature in a patch of grass in the middle of Tokyo. This is an act of deceit by the national weather service because most of the city is made of concrete, which contains all the heat and never cools down. Longtime Tokyo residents also say that the prevalence of air conditioners also antes up the heat because the outside units release warm air.
And the humidity level. You can’t know the meaning of the word, “humid”, unless you’ve been here during the summer.
Anyway, all this basically means that we are going through a lot more soap, shampoo, conditioner (two or more showers a day) and laundry detergent (six cycles a week at least) and our electric bill is going through the roof.
The unbelievable thing is that my husband P is training for a marathon in this heat. In fact, he’s out running ten miles as we speak. I used to run with him frequently, but lately, I’m doing well if I go out twice a week with him. I actually stopped for a couple weeks, but I started up again because I gained two pounds almost as soon as I stopped (scary but I’m only a half pound away from my running weight after two runs). Getting back to P, I make him take some coins with him so he can buy water at any of the hundred vending machines he passes by. He resisted at first, but not anymore.
While my husband is sweating his (increasingly) tight little butt off, I’m sitting in my nicely air-conditioned living room with a glass of ice tea and a popsicle (30 calories each, great for cooling you down from the inside). I briefly entertained the thought of going out for a run too but decided that touring around Tokyo for 8 hours with some German friends yesterday could be considered exercise. (Did you know that you burn the same amount of calories per distance whether you run or walk?).
The weather also failed my new pre-run test — turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, and sit on the couch. If you start sweating after five minutes, then it’s too hot to run.
My extremely fit mother-in-law (whom I absolutely love) might frown on my decision not to run, but it is SO hot that I even decided not to go get a foot massage at a reflexology place five minutes away because I didn’t want to have to walk there in the heat.