For us, the hardest part about acclamating to Mexico hasn’t been the poverty, (see my last post) it’s been the heat! It’s really, really hot. At least 89 most days. We sweat buckets and buckets. I don’t really mind sweating so much when I am outside, but I really mind when I am in the house doing chores, like cooking dinner. Have you ever tried to cook a nice meal while buckets and buckets of sweat are pouring off your face? First, your sweat blinds you, and then it drips into your food and onto your floor. Even with a overhead fan, and a floor fan, it’s drip city. Super disgusting. To solve this problem, we’ve taken to eating dinner quite late, around 9 PM once the sun goes down and the air is cooler. We also go swimming in the pool and it’s a nice respite, but the pool water does get hot midday.
Here are some fascinating facts about sweat:
- The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands.
- Most sweat glands are located in your feet, the least amount of glands are concentrated in your back.
- About 3% of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. I’m sure I’m one of them.
- A group of Swedish engineers has built a “Sweat Machine” that pulls the sweat out of damp clothing, and then purifies and filters it until it’s fit to drink.
How hot is it? It’s so hot that my chemo induced Jew fro is even curlier than it was in the US! The place where we are dog sitting/house sitting doesn’t get a cool ocean breeze like where my mom lives. Subsequently, during the day, we lie around a lot because it’s too hot to go outside–unless we are at the beach. There the breeze is always blowing.
Growing up in Michigan, I always hated the cold. I remember putting on my boots, gloves, and hat and saying to myself, “this just is a fools game”. After college I wanted out–I wanted to be away from the snow. I moved to New Orleans and then to Los Angeles for graduate school. It was sunny every day in LA and loved it. Then came San Francisco. Bleech! I never liked it. Gray and foggy. The fog made my brain shutdown. One day of rain and I’d feel awful. Two days and I’d become catatonic. Be careful what you wish for…Sometimes I stick my entire head in the freezer, just because.
Researchers say it takes two weeks for people to get used to severe climate change. Tomorrow it’s two weeks for us, but we’re not used to the heat yet. But, based on our experience in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, and based on my mom’s experiences, I’m confident we will adapt. For now, we run the air conditioning unit in the bedroom when we sleep. The A/C units here are called mini-splits and for some reason they are not popular in the US yet. Houses don’t have central A/C and most houses only have air in the bedrooms.
The mini split where we are house sitting was not working in the master bedroom when we arrived. We asked our pool man, Juan Carlos how to get it fixed and the next morning two men arrived on American time (even early) to fix it! They stayed two and a half hours, ran to the store to purchase a new compressor and cleaned both units. Total charge? $50 bucks! Running A/C in Mexico can be a very expensive proposition. We don’t know how much it will cost to keep us cool yet, but we are anticipating $80-$100 per month.
Check out this geeky article about the costs of running air conditioning in Mexico. Cool!