Shanghai summer

30 Jul

This time of year the heat is overpowering – I’ve written about it before, but every year it comes back.

Since I have come back from Taiwan the heat has been almost unbearable – close to 40 degrees C or 105 degrees F.  I have gotten to the point where I have noticed that my earlobes are sweating.  That’s pretty hot!  Even the occasional thunderstorm doesn’t cool things down.

We have the air conditioning on the entire time we are in the apartment, even for sleeping, but the heat puts me into a daze.  Ick.

Looking at the weather report for the next two weeks there is no respite, just continuous high temperatures with the heat index pushing even higher.  It could continue this way until September.  I’m not sure if I can handle another month.

One positive is that because of the wind from the typhoons the pollution is blown out of Shanghai.  That means that the sunsets are truly remarkable – a beautiful close to the day as I make my way home through the heat.

The heat is almost worth it - what a beautiful sunset!

The heat is almost worth it – what a beautiful sunset!

Another good thing that I especially like about this time of year though is the summer peaches.  This year my husband had a colleague whose family has their own peach trees.  The colleague brought in over a dozen peaches for every person.  The night Li brought them home we feasted on the sweet summer fruit, juice dripping down our elbows and our chins as we enjoyed this symbol of summer.

Perfect summer peaches - soon after they were devoured!

Perfect summer peaches – soon after they were devoured!

My Shanghainese colleagues swear that the summers were cooler when they were children.  I don’t know if that is true or not – it’s difficult to tell, but I certainly hope so!

I am of the firm belief that many places in this world would not become what they are today without the invention of air conditioning.  I can’t imagine living in Dubai or even Singapore without its cooling breeze.  Our world would be different.  Even the Founding Fathers in Washington, D.C. had the good sense to exit the area in the summer because it was too hot.

Our ability to handle heat changes over time as well – I have a coworker who is Malaysian but he says he can no longer take the heat of his hometown.  Another friend who is Indonesian says the same thing.  Maybe air conditioning has made us soft?

What has been the hottest weather where you have lived?  I don’t mind heat during the day, but when it doesn’t cool off at night it is tough to handle.   Soon though I’m sure we’ll be saying it’s too cold!

Hope you’re enjoying your summer!  May August be full of friends, sunsets,  barbeques and beaches for you.


10 Responses to “Shanghai summer”

  1. Every Day Adventures in Asia July 30, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    Lived through a couple Delhi summers without an A/C and with intermittent power cuts that meant even the overhead fan didn’t always working. I’d take mugs of water and wet the window screen, bed sheets, floor, anything that could evapourate and reduce the temp a bit. The temperatures were high 40’c and if you poured water on the road it instantly boiled. I would sometimes carry an umbrella when walking as that meant a difference of about 5’c and when walking around in the mid-day sun, that little bit made a big difference!

    At home in Mumbai, we hardly ever use our A/Cs (maybe twice a year!) and get scolded by the servicing guy who reminds us that at a minimum we need to turn them “on” every month or so. Mind you, we are on the 2nd floor with great cross ventilation and there haven’t been many days above 40’c or even high 30’c lately.

    Your point is valid – places are ‘liveable’ that earlier were less so. Yet I also think we get acclimatized to the warmth and/ or dependant on the cooling effects of an A/C.

    I’m quite convinced my internal body temperature has adjusted to a warmer Asia. I get teased quite a bit about sporting shawls and needing sweaters in weather a typical Canadian would be out in shorts!

    Right now, as I write from Jakarta, I’m shivering from the hotel room A/C! I’ll probably get a cold from it. Argh!

    Good luck surviving the next couple of weeks!

    • gkm2011 July 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

      I swore that I would not use an umbrella in the sun when I first moved here, but that was a promise broken the first summer. You are right, that five degrees matters! So I will count my blessings that the air conditioning works and wait it out. Stay warm in Jakarta!

  2. pollyheath July 30, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I’ve been so lucky to avoid the heat this summer! I think the worst heat was one summer here (near DC) — the 100+ weather and humidity is SUCH a killer.

    Now I’m a total baby and when it tops 80 degrees I’m begging to sit in front of the A/C!

    • gkm2011 July 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      My mom is like that, anything over 80 she deems too hot to move! Stay cool!

  3. Sherri July 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    We have just had a heat wave here in the UK but as I type this it is back down to the low 70s with lots of rain! It was very humid which I find the worst. I could cope with the heat in California much better because it was a dry heat and it is true what they say about it being easier to handle! Of course, here, when it is hot, we don’t have any air conditioning so for about 3 weeks we all sweltered but as you say, not wanting to complain as soon enough it will all be over (already is 😦 ) Funnily enought I recently wrote a post about the heat wave and mentioned there that the heat I found the hardest to cope with was when I was pregnant with my daughter, living in California in a house without air conditioning and she was born in August – it was 116 the day I had her so I was so happy to be able to spend a couple of days in an air conditioned hospital!!
    I hope things cool down for you soon but also that you enjoy your Shanghai Summer 🙂

    • gkm2011 July 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Goodness, 116! I know, lots of people say it’s not the heat but the humidity. Sometimes though it is just too hot! Air conditioning then must have really seemed like a gift when you were in labor.

      • Sherri July 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

        It certainly was, and yes, that was far too hot! I figured that if I could survive that, I could survive anything 🙂

  4. sarahinguangzhou July 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    I think you’re right that AC has made us all soft. I lived happily without it for years and now I go around complaining that London is barbaric because we don’t use it. And the temperature rarely goes over 30. If I’d never have lived in Asia I would have been none the wiser.

    • gkm2011 July 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      I agree, in Chicago there was one summer I never turned on my air conditioner and when I got it serviced the next year they were so surprised. I still don’t like it, but I am now connected to it!


  1. Update on Shanghai Summer | 中国 Jumble - August 2, 2013

    […] posted earlier this week about the summer in Shanghai and the heat wave that continues.  Many of you shared stories about living through the […]

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