I have spent most of my summers in humid Illinois, a few in Mexico, and last summer in Phoenix, Arizona. Yet, every time spring yields to an overpowering summer, the heat catches me off guard.
Sure there are ways to survive even without air conditioning. Here in North Africa, spray bottles, fans, popsicles, and cold water bottles come to mind.
The sun hovers directly above the city and beats its rays into the vast stretches of concrete and tile. Don’t picture me lounging on lush green grass under a generous shade tree. If I reclined on the ground, I would probably fry like an egg. And most of the shade comes when the sun dips behind the concrete buildings.
I have little energy. Staying hydrated is a chore. Headaches are routine. Sometimes I’m even sick to my stomach.
Yet, this miserable heat brings out the camaraderie that wouldn’t be here if the weather were perfect. After the sun goes down, people unite on the streets, visiting, shopping, or just watching the world go by. The carefree atmosphere comes from the underlying sensation of “Whew! We survived another day together!”