Heat has enveloped the city. We are caught in its embrace. The children I teach insist on cool blasts of air-con, non-stop during class. Donning skinny jeans and retro trainers, they hide in hoodies like adolescents anywhere. Except that here midday hits 40 degrees with ease and not a soul walks down the street.
By the time I step into the light after work, I am shivering from the fridge-like indoors. The steering wheel of my car has all the appeal of gripping a burning torch and I realise it may be possible to brew a cup of tea with the water inside the bottle on the passenger side.
So while Muscat’s barometers have sent even the mosquitoes packing, I have decided not to flee to the UK this summer. My survival strategy for the extreme heat follows:
*As I can no longer exercise outside (read: barely walk out of the front door), I have joined a gym. It’s cool inside and I get to hear the PTs putting people through their pre-Ramadan paces.
*Driving is improved by a) parking in the shade whenever possible b) Tinted windows (which might look gangsta but help) c) Wearing sandals and cotton (which don’t look gangsta but help) .
*Deciding to enjoy what is. In this part of the world, as well as searing temperatures, May/June means date season: nature’s sticky cakes with a stone are fab with a cup of tea, a few minutes of sunshine, when I can bear it, almost feels refreshing after so much time spent indoors.
Occasionally, in the early morning as I close the front door and leave for work, the faintest scent of the sea reaches the air, birds caw, the heat hasn’t yet found the day. For a moment at least, I’ve forgotten it’s there.
Live somewhere hot? What are your recommendations to survive the summer?