Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Summers in Los Angeles are weird.
Growing up in good ‘ol Pittsburgh, where we have 4 seasons (a normal fact that of my students in Japan regularly questioned me about… do their textbooks all say we live in the Sahara???), we have a rainy and miserable spring around April, then slowly transition to summer weather by mid-June, complete with humidity, summer showers, and sunburned sweaty necks populating the city.
In LA, at least the part of it I live in, you spend most of the “summer months” of June through mid-July, in a warm, but comfortable state, sometimes wearing jeans, sometimes shorts, but not feeling a distinct urge for either. Occasionally you’ll have a bubble of heat pass over your local area, and you’ll gripe about not having a proper fan yet.
(Side note: I currently own ONE fan which has the following defects: 1) I found in the dumpster and taped back together since the entire outer shell was shattered 2) is a window ban, but doesn't actually fit in my window 3) makes loud rattling sound, since I have propped it up on the ironing board next to the window, and eventually shakes itself off, causing it to break into more pieces.)
Then, suddenly, true “summer” gives you a little smack in the face to let you know that it is not just a myth. My apartment of late has been full of stiff, warm air, no doubt an affect of the fires blazing around here. I find that summer sneaks up on me here primarily because of the lack of humidity. The heat sort of seeps into your skin, and then, Surprise!, you find perspiration on the small of your back. This is very much unlike in Pittsburgh, where you wake up in a pool of sweat, and spend the rest of your day vaguely soaked in your own juices.
Is it weird that I somehow miss “real” summer? I certainly will have to escape this winter to the mountains for a “real” winter, which I haven’t seen in ages. FYI, “real winter” includes, and is not limited to:
2. Enormous coats which make you too hot in your car, too cold when you step out of it, and are cumbersome to lug around once you reach the indoors
3. Hot beverages
4. Learning how to “drift” into actual snow drifts, hoping to God a large piece of metal or giant bricks are hidden in the snow pile.
5. Eating a lot and not feeling too bad about it, because you feel that, just like a bear who is prepped for hibernating, you are simply building a seasonal layer of fat to keep out the weather.
Strange that I'm finally into summer in LA and am already reminiscing about winter.