Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm Done

I know, I haven't written anything here all July. No post about Okinawa or about anything else. I also haven't emailed friends, or worked on my side projects, or read any books, or studied Japanese. It's summer, again, with temperatures in the 35°–40° range, and my body shuts down in this heat. Constantly tired, constant headaches, no strength and no appetite. This is one time I wish we'd live in cooler, breezier Okinawa.

The cikadas are out in force again. I think this is a "kumasemi"; perhaps the most common species here in Kansai. In parks and wooded areas they're so loud they drown out all other sounds. You can't even talk to other people without shouting.

I've long thought that I'd eventually get used to the summers here. But no, I realize that I won't. If anything it's worse this year than usual. Up until last week it was still OK, but now it's all I can do to push through at work, then quietly collapse the moment I get home. Yesterday I was falling asleep right at the dinner table.

Air conditioners are only marginally better than nothing. Belching ice-cold, clammy air into the room may make it cooler, but it sure doesn't make you comfortable. You can sit and sweat in the heat, while wearing thick, woollen socks because the floor is freezing. An effective cooling system would probably have to completely replace the air instead of just trying to mix cold and hot, but that would be like living in a wind tunnel; not sure it'd be any improvement.

I give up. Better to accept the weather than try to fight it. Sleep, rest and relax, and avoid any non-work pressures. I'll post, or keep in touch, if or when I feel up to it. If I don't, I won't. Other things can wait. Looking forward to autumn.


  1. Everyone needs some rest after all. Even if shutting down completely, sometimes simple tasks tend to lengthen burnout.

    As a foreigner hot summer weather on Japan isn't mentioned that much, or at least I haven't noticed.

    I am quite lazy on summer as well, this year have gotten to do more things however. I don't know if it is the weather too, as in here it is hot as well.
    I should get to shoot some medium format for introspection.

    I had some overdue academic tasks and together with some laziness after, July has flown away already!

  2. Foreigners in general might not have that much trouble with this weather; many come from countries as warm or warmer after all. But I've always been sensitive to hot conditions, and that doesn't seem to change.

    I really don't have time to relax at all right now. Have some deadlines that just can't wait. I need to use my time and energy for that for the time being. In autumn things will hopefully slow down a bit again, and the weather will be more agreeable too.

  3. Very true, as a Mediterranean I cope with quite some heat and I took this for granted. Guess it happens elsewhere too.

    Hope you can get through fine, as horrible the circumstances are.
    Had a burnout last month and while of much lesser magnitude, not pleasant at all.

  4. Understand completely. Seven summers in Japan and three in NYC. Can't stand the summers. About the only relief is for a few hours after a typhoon rolls through - humidity and temperature both drop a bit.

    The exception to all this being Hokkaido (probably the north of Tohoku as well) - no rainy season to speak, less humidity and temperatures rarely reaching 30.

  5. Kotobuki, yes I'd love to spend my summers in Hokkaido. Pleasant temperatures, great seafood and no typhoons. Or Okinawa; it's warmer than Hokkaido in summer but not as hot as Osaka, and it's a lot less humid. And the snorkelling is good :)


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