Tuesday, June 22, 2010

burning skin vs. frozen spine

So what would you rather live in? A country that is dismal and chillingly cold for about six months (Oct-Mar) out of the year with a three month summer, or a country that is summer all the time with about four months (Jun-Sep) of suffocating heat? We've reached the mid-forties celsius in Riyadh and the air is just right for whining. Going outside in Riyadh during this time of year is like getting a hug from a sumo wrestler, except the sumo wrestler is made of fire. Is it possible for your eyeballs to feel sweaty? I say yes!

Well I tell ya, even so, I like the heat and all the beautiful sunny days in Riyadh, and I do *not* miss the weather in Canada. You would think I might long for a white Christmas and skating and snowball fights, but the truth is that after coming here, I can't understand how I survived Toronto. Seriously there were times back then when I counted a full two weeks without seeing the sun! Canadians: now that it's summer, you can all congratulate yourselves for not committing suicide back in February when you were seriously considering it.

In Riyadh, things get hot, sure. And on certain days you really might be able to fry an egg on your car, sure. But the nice thing is that every enclosed space you encounter has proper air conditioning, and lots of it. I will take burning skin over frozen spine any day, because the reality is that your skin will only burn for the 30 seconds between a car and a door, but I found my frozen spine would last all day in Canada, and the heating systems were always too much or too little. It is also mean and unfair to make a woman choose between looking good and being warm.

How did I manage to complain about both countries in one post? It's a special Canadian skill. But Riyadh still wins hands down for me, weather wise.


Anonymous said...

Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, eh?

My family considers me crazy for liking the heat of Saudi Arabia over the cold of Canada.

I think they're being a little selective of their memories of the snow (Snowmen, sleds, skating) and never remember the bad stuff (snow getting in boots, driveway shoveling, slipping on sidewalks, COLD,cold,cold,...did I mention cold?)

Anonymous said...

If the quantity is not a lot, I will hand carry..................................................

Anonymous said...

I am torn between the two. I do love the heat and the sun and probably do 'forget' the harshness of the cold....but I do miss the change of seasons for sure!

AAF said...

I agree.. I personally prefer the heat in saudi compared to the cold in London.

Orchidthief said...

Yeah the last time we were back in Toronto for Christmas, we could not believe how hard it was to get warm. Our bodies have adjusted to the heat in Saudi, so going back I found I was wearing three or four layers of everything plus hats, mitts, etc. while everyone else was walking around without hats and their jackets open.

Absolutely burning-phoenix, the grass is always greener on the other side, and we definitely remember the sledding over the dreary sludge in the streets and salt stains ruining expensive boots.

Barely, one thing I will admit that I do miss is seeing the trees change colour in the fall.

And AAF, London is famous for its icky weather moreso than Toronto, so I could understand you wholeheartedly choosing heat over that!

your eyes are countries said...

haha, you have a great sense of humor!

I noticed you take a lot of pictures (in your earlier posts) how do Saudis respond to that? I'm moving to Riyadh soon and I tend to take a lot of pictures too. My husband is worried I'm going to get in trouble and get us deported for taking pictures at the souk. What are your thoughts based on your experiences?

Adnan said...

What I really miss is fall and the changing colours! :(

Christophe said...

Best part about living in a country with continental climate (France) : alternating wardrobes! Before moving to (moving back to?) Europe, all I'd ever worn were tshirts and the occasional jumper/sweatshirt ; wearing a scarf, walking with an umbrella were entirely new things to me.

Much prefer the heat in Saudi to the heat elsewhere. Lack of humidity + AC makes everything so bearable. But it's not just that. Can't be that simple. There's something very special about it as well.