Thursday, August 30, 2012

On 86% Humidity

When desert air is humid:
1.  Slog, don't jog.
2.  Cover your knees and shoulders (remember you're in Doha).
3.  Bring water, duh.
4.  Expect to sweat (wear inappropriate absorbent attire under tee).
5.  Sunglasses necessary.
6.  Carry a towel.
Because it's not just "hot."  It's not just "humid."  It's breathing melted cheese while jogging underwater inside a sauna.  It's a Phoenix, Arizona summer cuddled up to a Riverside, California smog alert.  Really, you shouldn't be outside at all when the air is this thick.  A few things about 86% humidity: 
  • air is heavy, tangible, thick, wet:  99 fahrenheit with humidity equals 128 "real feel" degrees
  • water blankets the city, shrouds the skyline, fills lungs
  • moisture streaks windows, waterfalls to pavement, creates moats
  • soaked cotton glues to skin, burps when tugged
  • air pudding coats lung lining like cake batter in a bowl...complicates breathing
  • slippery skin glistens with drops drip-drip-dripping from nose-elbow-fingertips (ick)
  • enter a cold space and sweat crystalizes, flakes to the floor like summer snow (double ick)
  • puddles form on concrete, ears clog, glasses and phones fog
  • the world is a heady mix of locker room and air freshener - a sweet, acrid, salty perfume
This is the time of year that loosely worn abayas, dishdashas and gallabeas make sense.  Strangely, the more you wear the more comfortable you are: skin is sun protected, air moves, sweat dries, stains don't show.

As long as you spend most of the day...indoors.


Anonymous said...

Uh, shouldn't those sunglasses be on your face rather than your head?

Lucinda H. Kennaley said...

photo op, baby! :)