The duck and I agree that this summer has been too hot. I haven’t (yet) felt so hot that I feared waking up a perfectly baked cookie (nothing has come close to the comparatively cute but intense 2019 heat wave in Germany and that oven of a bedroom I still have waking nightmares about). Uncomfortable it’s been, nonetheless. While the duck spends most days swimming in the bathtub among tubs of ice cream in bright floaties, I have spent those hot weeks trying to avoid the heat as much as possible and going through loads of sunscreen.
As the duck has been happily splashing around, I’ve made yet another list of realizations (fueled by the joys of living in a house with no AC and weeks-long average outside temperatures well above 30ºC/86ºF):
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The duck and I bought our first fan two summers ago when we felt that we really couldn’t go on without one. Let me clarify: I’m writing about an electric floor fan – we would never buy an admirer (we’re way too stingy for that), and I don’t remember when I bought my first hand fan. Until that summer, we had always been lucky to live in places with surprisingly well-stocked basements or storage rooms. So that there was always a fan somewhere if we needed one. But that time, we searched in vain.
Houses with built-in air conditioning are rare in Germany; even though it can get hot in summer, days with temperatures above 28°C/82°F are few and far between. However, there are such things as heat waves, like the one in 2019 that brought temperatures above 40°C/104°F – three days in a row. Imagine going through that without an AC unit or even a simple floor fan that can redirect any little breeze that may find its way into the room straight to you (though fans are a terrible AC replacement. But that’s not the point here)! Pair that with a weirdly insulated bedroom that’s comfortably warm in winter and unbearably so in summer, and you get the immersive experience of being a butter cookie in the oven – waiting for your edges to turn golden. This is why, that summer, the duck and I threw all our reservations overboard and invested in an affordable floor fan. We usually avoid buying bulky items because it’s a hassle to deal with them when we have to move, but if the alternative is possibly waking up baked to a crisp one day, the decision is easy.Now, two years later, the duck and I have to yet regret this investment; we’ve already used our first fan this year (I even tried to clean it for the first time last week in hopes of ridding it of that dusty smell it must have acquired standing around unused for so long), and the duck has found a new hobby in latching on to the vent grille and instructing me to increase the ventilation speed step by step (so weird).
Still, I wouldn’t mind living with proper air conditioning again (sorry, environment!). That’s why the duck and my next move will hopefully be to a place that is so warm that air conditioning is a fixture, or so cold that we can just burn all our summer clothes and bows for a toasty fire (if there is no toasty toilet seat around).
Actually, the more I think about it, moderate temperatures all year round might be the most comfortable and environmentally friendly option… we’ll see.
What’s summer like in your area? Do you have air conditioning?