I Miss Air Conditioning (a wimpy girl’s confession)
When I moved here I was told a couple of things: it doesn’t snow in London, and the summers are full of cloudy and rainy days.
Neither of these have proved true this year. We had a few snow ‘storms’ this winter. Nothing major, but since Londoners claim it never snows here, the government does not stockpile the supplies needed to prevent the city from shutting down completely over an inch of snow.
And since exams ended summer has arrived, and it feels a bit like summer anywhere else I’ve lived. Only two days have I felt cool enough to wear jeans instead of a skirt or dress. We’ve had some muggy days, most of which were here when my parents were visiting, which was a blessing and a curse. A curse because we were tourists and thus riding the tube and walking loads, but a blessing because their hotel room had air conditioning.
That’s the other thing – because it apparently doesn’t get hot here, very little is air conditioned. The tube is a sauna, and buses are swamps. On the bus ride home from the theater Thursday night the HEAT was on. No joke. Movie theaters are sometimes air conditioned (although weakly), and restaurants are hit and miss. Some places have ice for drinks; others serve them warm. Lucky for me my apartment is in the basement, and the curtains keep out most of the light. Plus, someone left a fan here so I’ve plugged that in and am basking in it.
Michelle visited this week and we did a lot of fun tourist things – London Eye, a West End Show, walking around town – but she’s off to Munich and I’m glad. Not because I wanted her to leave – we were having so much fun – but because it means I do not have to get on a tube, or a bus, or really leave my apartment other than to get some groceries and do my laundry. I shall be sitting in front of the fan working on my thesis and watching movies until the sun sets, at which point I might venture out for a walk just to make sure my legs still work.
I know those of you in NYC – and even in Seattle, where it’s been in the 90s – have had it worse. I hope you are able to cool down soon as well!