With our friends and family in the UK and Europe experiencing sub-zero temperatures and widespread snow, ice and blizzards, and us the subtropical heat of Brisbane, it stirred the question – would you rather be too hot or too cold?
This question first came up when we were living in Adelaide. It was during the Millennium Drought years, which was a period from late 1996 to 2010. It was the summer of 2008 and on this particular day about 45°C. The air-con had packed up and we were lolling on the sofas like sleeping lions, hardly able to move in the inadequate stir from the fan. If you ventured outside, you could feel your eyeballs shrivelling up and the moisture being sucked out of your skin – even the birds had gone silent and the trees were giving up their limbs to the dry heat on a daily basis. This was in the foothills of Adelaide, not even the outback where it would have been far more brutal.
I asked the question to the lolling lions; would you rather be too hot or too cold? The lions were split – half the pack preferred to be too hot and thought it was easier to cool down in the pool or by taking a cold shower and drinking cold drinks. I would prefer to be too cold – even though I hate to be cold and it can take me ages to warm up, I can’t bear having my energy sapped by the heat. At least when you’re cold you can still engage in physical activity – even more so as a way to warm up.
Although Brisbane does not experience the same extreme dry heat as Adelaide, it does have humidity added to the mix. For instance, today, the car thermometer reached 36.5°C (it said so) that’s 33°C but feels like 36.5°C when you add in the humidity. It’s uncomfortable to say the least and I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING at the moment. Domestic chores are at a minimum, my gym membership is in the doldrums and I’m grouchy (just ask Chief!) How he manages to cycle to and from work every day is beyond me!
Tomorrow I’ll be working up an unpleasant sweat on my daily walk to the train station, before donning winter knitwear to spend an uncomfortably cold eight hours in the over air-conditioned office – crazy I know!
But in these modern times where you and I are lucky enough to have a source of heat – be it a roof over our heads, warm clothes and a hot meal at the end of the day; or a source of cool – be it a pool, fans and cold fresh water to drink, there are millions of people in this world less fortunate who are doing it tough, and during these extreme weather events, even tougher.
Would you rather be too hot or too cold? It’s a trivial question when we put our First World Problems into perspective. Until next time, stay warm, keep cool and above all keep grounded.