Crack your mind,
Trust your bones,
Let the bow tear you in half.
The sky rains heavy red drops,
your shoulders want to buckle,
the mind’s devils ply you to succumb,
Alive, elbows expand, standing erect,
Above and around, before and after the arrow, big mind encapsulates all,
Your beast will win.
How does one survive a Japanese summer?!
Coming from the Pacific Northwest in the U.S., the summer here is otherworldly. I’ve felt heat before, but not like this. And the humidity? I didn’t know this was possible on earth!
I’m going into my fifth summer here in Japan, and am still trying to figure out how I’m going to survive it.
Here I’ll bulletpoint some tips I’m planning to use, and maybe they’ll help you out as well.
Ice – Ice in your drinks, whatever it may be. Keep the freezer full of ice cubes at all times and don’t be scant. Chew ice when you’re hot. Or put it in a towel to wrap around some part of your body. Actually in Japan they have these cold towels that retain their cool temperature, but I don’t have any.
Cold Tea – I’ve just recently found tea that you can put in cold water. Is that new? Or do I just live oblivious?
Bright Clothing – Reds, blues, pinks, Hawaiian shirts are the ideal I suppose.
Loose Clothing – Get the wind through your clothes when you move and not something that will stick to you with sweat. The Japanese got it right with their jimbe summer outfits.
Keep it Clean – Good clean smells keep you cool for some reason, so we’ve got this great “fresh bamboo” air freshener about and definitely washing all clothes and towels after one use. I’ll stretch it out longer depending on the wear in colder seasons, but this won’t do in summer. I want fresh things to wear with anti-sweat or stink when I get started.
White – White walls, sheets, curtains, towels … clean white.
Green Plants – The more the better the cooler.
Hand Fans – You could get one of the fancy traditional Japanese fans called sensu, or you can just get a more common uchiwa for less than a hundred yen.
Wind Chime – Don’t have one, but I want one.
Hand Towels – Wherever you go, don’t be without one. No matter where you go or what you do, sweat will fall and stink will form, so be ready to wipe it off at everychance. Stay ahead of the game.
Electric Fans – Don’t have one now, thinking of buying one, something to keep the air moving in Japanese homes/apartments which are so good at trapping it in.
Effectively Using Air Conditioners – I’m not one to fully combat using air conditioners like some stronger friends of mine, but I will try to minimize it. The key to this is the timer. The only time I’ve used the air conditioner lately is at night before I go to bed and I set it on for one hour and then it automatically shuts off on its own. I’ll sometimes wake up to set it for another hour, but it’s better than cranking it all the night through.
Body Wipes – Now I’m getting into ground I’m not a huge fan of, but this isn’t a happy kind-of-hot girly list for girls, dealing with the summer here is like going to war, and it’s not always as pretty as you want. So you get the chemical body wipes to substitute for the shower you want but don’t have time or space for. They cool you down and help with the smell better than just being hot and sweaty and pungent.
So that’s basically it. I just asked my wife what she thought and she said:
“Just don’t think it’s hot.”
Wow, who’s the big pussy now. If you’re strong like her then, just don’t think it’s hot, and if you’re a big baby like me, check out my tips and put them into action.
What do YOU do to survive the Japanese summer!? Comment and let me know.