Sweltering on the Weekend
Friday noontime had me trekking into town for my weekly meat run at the open air market.
12:00 to 2:30 p.m. is the Chinese siesta hour, where all students and faculty are crashed in beds for their afternoon naps after lunch. And especially in this heat, as our temperatures now shoot into the humid, sticky, suffocating 90s, very few dare to venture out.
But there I was, during our Friday siesta hours, meeting student after student coming back from the downtown stores.
What would bring them out at this time of day, missing naps and struggling through the southern China heat?
None other than table fan purchases.
I must have run into 10 sweating students, each lugging a fan they had just purchased to put in their dorm rooms. With 8 to a room, no air-conditioning or ceiling fans, I can imagine how horribly hot they all must be.
The small household appliance sellers will certainly be making a killing this weekend.
A small fan can do a lot to move the air around. I should know as I have two of them in my huge, 6-room apartment. My sitting room has a current temperature of 86 so a fan goes a long way in keeping the dog and me somewhat comfortable. . . if we don’t move around a lot.
Yes, I do have an air-conditioner but as is the custom in China, it is located in the bedroom for night use only. It’s also quite small. I’m usually lucky if it cools down the room to 75.
Saturday’s Playdate Gets a Bit Wild
Despite the fans blowing constantly, that certainly wasn’t enough comfort for my Saturday playdate with the neighborhood kids. As always, they appeared at my door at 3 p.m. for our 1-hour of visit-the-foreigner time.
We have drinks and cookies. We draw pictures. We play games. We chit-chat and I try to get them to use as much English as possible. Usually, the visits are very tame and quiet, depending on who shows up.
Yesterday, however, things got a bit wild.
We started out at a calm, quiet pace.
Amy (Huang Yawei) was having her 11th birthday so we celebrated with candles atop a muffin surrounded by Oreo cookies.
She got the muffin and the rest of us had the Oreo cookies.
The fan’s comforting blow was just right until we started the mini-frisbee throw. That pretty much ended the restful part of the visit. The excited kids began grabbing and snatching at the throw toy while running around the room.
Locking one another in the foreigner’s bathroom then became the next novel activity along with barking back at a very upset Little Flower, who was shut up in the back bedroom for safety purposes. (Both her safety and our xiao pengyou‘s, little friends’.)
4 p.m. couldn’t come soon enough for me, let me tell you!
By the time the happy, exuberant band of young people left, the apartment seemed to have heated up to over 100, with my patience index mounting to about that level as well.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like the Chinese kids to come by. They are usually very well-behaved and never a problem but yesterday, the heat just got to us all.
Happy Mom’s Day!
Before closing, I just wanted to wish our mom readers a Happy Mother’s Day.
After yesterday’s 1-hour with the kids, I can certainly appreciate your tolerance level (and joy) in being a mom.
From Longzhou, here’s sending a Ping An (Peace) for your special day, Moms.