How Hot Was It?

Mid-morning hydration break. I drank all of it and, well, let’s just say I wasn’t running around in search of a bathroom.

We had heard that December through March is the best time to visit Dubai and to avoid going during Ramadan.  July and August have average temperatures mid-30s to 40s Celsius.  We went at the end of June.  Oops.

You can see where the drip irrigation lines are located.

I’d been warned about the heat.  People actually used the word boil.  Knowing about the heat and actually experiencing it are two different things.  It was 48, 45 and 47 (118, 113, 116 Fahrenheit) on the three days I was there.  I melted.

Bus shelters are air-conditioned.

I have run marathons where I hydrated less.   Like Jane Austen, the heat put me in a perpetual state of inelegance (which unfortunately seems to be the status quo for me).  More accurately, I was dripping, a hot mess.  Luckily, I wasn’t the only one.  Anyone I encountered walking around outside was melting as well.

The inside. Not frigid air-conditioning like in the US, but it kept me from melting.

The heat is incessant.  It doesn’t let up.  Even after dark it is intense.  When I went to the airport at 5:00 a.m., it was already over 30 Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) intense, even after dark.

It was so hot that even the wind towers had air-conditioning.

Just how hot was it?

  • It’s so hot, today I saw a chicken lay a fried egg.
  • Birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
  • It’s so hot you need a spatula to remove your clothing.
  • Potatoes cook underground, so just pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.
  • It’s so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog.
  • It’s so hot the robins are laying their eggs sunny side up.

They joke that at one time, water was a more valuable resource than oil. I believe it. It hasn’t rained there in over 3 years!

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More Pictures of the Versoix, Switzerland Ice Storm

Last week, I posted pictures of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva)’s ice storm.  I took them in  the Eaux-Vives area of Geneva, Switzerland.  The post included a picture that was widely circulated (it went viral) of a car covered in ice after the ice storm in Versoix, Switzerland.  Versiox is about 20 minutes up the lake from Geneva.  I couldn’t resist going to see and take some more ice pictures.

Courtesy of the Telegraph and AFP

I wasn’t the only one who wanted to see it.  There were adults with cameras and children sliding on the ice.  Other bloggers have also posted pictures.  Clearly, I am not as talented as the AFP photographer who took the shot above.  Nevertheless, it was impressive.

Car covered in ice after the Versoix ice storm

Apparently, ice storms like this are not a regular occurrence here.  You can find pictures on the internet from one in 2005, but this could very well be the only one we see.

Someone placed a mannequin on the dock

 

Some Of The Things We Learned This Year

Sorry for the poor posting lately.  We went home to the US for a bit.  Between irregular internet access and cute nieces/nephews, I didn’t update as planned.  Now, we are at home and are both sick.   Our germy, jet-lagged heinies are planted on each couch and drinking tea.

This past year has been filled with changes.  Here are some of the things we have learned:

  • Certain actors become much more bearable when dubbed in other languages.  Although I generally avoid watching David Hasselhoff like the plague, I enjoyed watching Knight Rider dubbed Spanish.
  • Seeing other ways people live has helped us to better understand American culture and how we are products of it.
  • Shockingly, not everyone is as loud and expansive as we Americans are.  When we were in the US, we were a bit overwhelmed by the size of stores, malls and parking lots.  I guess it is a sign we are adapting.
  • What my dad said is true, only boring people are bored.
  • He was always a good packer, but I have learned how to be a much better one.  I can now make it a week with only a backpack!
  • There are all kinds of different ways of communicating.   As Americans, we tend to be more direct, linear and explicit.  Others are more indirect, circular and/or implicit (putting responsibility for understanding on the listener).    People aren’t going to change for you, so you’d better learn how they express themselves so you can understand what is being communicated.
  • If someone does a bad job cutting your hair.  Do not let them be the one to fix it.  Trust me on this one.  If you expressed dissatisfaction with their work, they may bear a grudge.  If they bear a grudge, you don’t want them with scissors anywhere near your hair.
  • Try not to complain.  Regardless of whatever pickle you may be in or frustration you may have, there is always someone who has bigger problems.   What seems like a big deal at the time usually isn’t a bit down the road and you will feel like an idiot if you’ve made too big a deal about something small.
  • You can’t treat your partner too well (especially if they are one of the only people you know on the continent).
  • It makes you feel a lot better when you understand why people do things so differently.  Getting yelled at for crossing the street the wrong way becomes a whole lot easier when you understand where they are coming from.
  • My photos are improving.  Despite regular practice (due to Geneva‘s high cost of living) my cooking has not.  On side note, the war with my oven continues with no end in sight.
  • We are still working on perfect mastery of conversions, but we’ve definitely learned some conversions (metric, Celsius, currency, etc.).
  • Lots of times, we call things learning experiences because there isn’t anything more positive we can say about them.   Change is difficult and stressful, but it is also a huge opportunity to learn and grow.  Plus, change is inevitable.  You may as well learn all you can and try to enjoy yourself along the way.