Sunday, 29 January 2012

Summer heat - officially gone troppo

It's so hot this evening, it's almost to hot to watch the men's final of the Australian Open tennis, let alone play tennis.  The wind is teasing, pretending that it's going to blow through a change, but it's full of hot air.

It's so hot, my eyelids are sweating.  My skin is sticky with perspiration and my hair is piled on top of my head as I try and keep my neck cool.  It's humid.  It's not supposed to be humid in Melbourne!  There was supposed to be no more of that when I left Brisbane for southern climes.

One of the things I love about weather is that people talk about it.  As though there's something deeply bonding in the joint admission that it is hot, or cold, or windy, or wet.  What is left to say?

There was a bloke I knew once.  His boss had a multipurpose statement that worked in all conversational settings and could be uttered without interruption:


I suspect he came from somewhere in North Queensland where the local greeting is equally efficient, especially when little or no articulation is applied to its utterance:


The answer to both these questions/statements is "yep", said without pronouncing the first or final consonant.  In that regard it shares a startling resemblance to Portuguese.  But I digress.

As I languish in this heat, I recall the six months I spent working in Darwin as the build-up began.  It was an extraordinary feeling, like being in a pressure cooker where the pressure builds and builds and builds and builds for weeks and weeks and weeks.  It does something to your mind.  The local newspaper even featured an editorial on the phenomenon known as "going troppo" or "mango madness".  I have since discovered that the effects of the build-up feature regularly in the paper and usually reference random acts of violence or displays of anger from normally serene people. (Here's an example.)

So here I sit. Not on the couch - it's too hot to sit on.  I'm contemplating another cold shower and am wishing the shape of the cubicle was more conducive to sleep.

I'm too tired to stay awake and too hot to sleep.  What to do...research airconditioners online.

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