July 13, 2008

Managing the Heat

OK, we are swinging into some serious heat and humidity here. That warm still damp air really does a number on me on my walk from the apartment to the train station.

On the bright side though, with heat comes (some small) enlightenment. Maybe it's just all of that water loss, but I think I am finally starting to understand some previously puzzling and distinctly Japanese things:
  • Convenience Stores - Yes. The Konbini are a way of life here in Japan. But only now am I starting to appreciate this every corner phenomenon. Drinks and air conditioning make this a welcome way-station on your way anywhere. The air-conditioned oasis that is Sunkus or Lawson's makes even more sense now, and helps explain why this is the common scene pretty much any time of day. I don't think its just the manga. If Apu (of the Simpsons) were ever to encounter the rampant treatment of convenience stores as "lending libraries" of manga and magazines, he would go ballistic!

  • Umbrellas - Another thing that I just couldn't get used to was the fact that more people carry umbrellas on the non-rainy days than the rainy ones. Never being one for umbrellas, even in the rain, I just couldn't come to grips with this parasol-toting culture. Until the other day in Nagasaki, when the sun was beating down on me, and I had this fleeting moment where I thought - "An umbrella would be kind of good right now."
  • Fans - I always was of the school that any cool air that it provides is outweighed by the energy you expend by waving a fan up and down. Not true. Mind you, I did not buy a fan. But I was given one as a gift - a slick little accordioning jobby - and I have used it once or twice.

1 comment:

Lee said...

When I was in college in Miami, I noticed people walking around campus with umbrellas. It is a funny sight... but surely does keep you a lot cooler! It worked out well in South Florida, too... since you never know when a quick thunderstorm might roll through. :)