It’s summer in Japan. I’m watching the news on TV about temperatures rising to as high as 39 degrees celsius and that many people are taken to the hospitals due to heat stroke. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is a tough season.
Wait. I see raised eyebrows, “But is Dubai (from where you are), hotter?” or “Oh shush, what is summer here compared to the summer in the desert?”
Well, yes Dubai and the whole of Middle East is way hotter you could bake a cookie in your car dashboard but we won’t drop dead of heat stroke inside our homes or outside (we know we need to get away from the heat during peak hours – even construction workers are required to take a break from 1:00-4:00 pm as per law).
Dubai is equipped to handle the meanest summer with temperature controlled buildings. We don’t break a sweat when we sleep. Here in Japan, my children has been bathing in their own sweat especially when they nap in the afternoon and I? I just get really cranky when it’s hot.
And more so if I am told, “but would you be the best to handle 35C because in Dubai you get as high as 45C?”
But the problem here in Japan is the lack of airconditioning system or more precisely, the presence of strange pride, the mentality that “bearing the unbearable is kinda cool (gaman suru hou ga kakkoii)” so most houses do not have cooling systems installed. If there is an ac unit, it would be only in one of the rooms and it’s like a crime to turn it on. It’s like a game ‘you turn it in and you lose!’. You are a sissy with regards to the heat.
The people constantly talk about the weather here (it is after all, the number one conversation ice breaker). “Kyou mo atsui desu ne!” (It’s hot today, isn’t it!)
Ben and mama at the train platform, without wind, it would be very hot as the train platform is al fresco (open type)
And the news is round the clock with how hot it is here and there and how many people suffered from heat stroke. Some are students who are doing sports in the school field at mid day. Why would schools allow outside activities on a very hot summer day?
Also, there’ s a campaign called Cool Biz - requiring establishments to FIX aircon temp of 28C…so don’t expect a cool breeze of aircondition air to greet you at restaurants or offices while you wipe off your sweat from all the walk you had outside!
We are surviving with an electric fan and popsicles. Lots and lots of popsicles!
And cold drinks.
We have a week to go before we go back to Dubai. Don’t get me wrong, I love being surrounded by all these greneries and nature and the fresh mountain air but getting weak everyday because of the heat is not fun. Outside temp = inside temp is unhealthy.
It is reported that temperatures in Japan during summer is rising every year – when I was a student here more than 10 years ago, I don’t remember temps going as high as 35C.
So what if it gets as hot as in the Middle East, like 40C and up? Would they still refuse to install/turn on the coolers? Continue activities outside like normal and drop dead like flies?!
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