I came to Australia in large part to get away from what I knew would be one of the harshest winters in a long time. Little did I expect the harshness of the Australian summer. Flooding in Queensland left 75% of the state in a state of emergency, and just as they began recovering from that Cyclone Yasi hit, the worst cyclone people can remember. I counted myself grateful to be in New South Wales, away from the natural disasters.
But then the heat wave rolled in. Sydneysiders are used to summer temperatures of 26 degrees and the occasional day over 30, not the blistering 40+ temperatures they’ve been experiencing day after day. People won’t travel long distances, even in their air conditioned cars, because the vehicle could overheat. Coworkers are cranky because they don’t have air conditioning and can’t sleep. The trains are delayed, making the underground stations more than uncomfortable with their stuffy, stale air.
As for me, it reminds me of the bikram yoga studio. The smell of sweat, the drenched clothes, the sweat gathering and dripping off every part of your body even while you sit or lay perfectly still, the longing to run out of the room and into a cold shower.
Much like our Canadian winters, where we dash from heated building to heated building to avoid the cold, Sydneysiders do the same with the heat, avoiding it at all costs.