Smoggy with a High Chance of Heat Exhaustion

6 Sep

Sichuan University was not my first choice. In fact, I have been regretting not filling my list completely with Beijing area schools for the past week and a half. I know Beijing. I know where the clubs are and where the good restaurants are located, I know where to find a book in English or a replacement laptop battery or a pair of shoes in my size. I can navigate the bus system and metro like a champ. I can handle the omnipresent pollution and the bitter winter cold. Hell, I don’t even mind the seething morass of humanity.

I am finding Chengdu difficult to love. Perhaps it is the lack of sun.

This is what it looks like in Chengdu. You’ve got the same haze of Beijing, except it is white-gray. It is more fog based than just pure pollution. Visibility is better and the grittiness is lower. My lungs aren’t finding it nearly as toxic. Regrettably, I have now found out that Chengdu has fewer blue-sky days than London. London! I feel gypped.

The smog acts as a greenhouse gas, making an already hot and humid tropical climate nearly unbearable. And I grew up in FL and went to school in Gainesville, so when I say unbearable, I mean it. I want every global warming naysayer to come spend some time here in Chengdu and understand what the future is going to be like.

The heat saps your energy. Walking to the corner bakery for breakfast is an endeavor. The humidity is practically at 100%, but there hasn’t been rain since I’ve been here. Power shorted out temporarily last week in the dorms because everyone was running their air conditioners. (Thank god we have air conditioners, btw.) Dehydration is a major problem. I’ve chugged my way through a gallon-sized water jug in a bout five days.

This is all just me griping about my first few days in a foreign city. I get this way whenever I move someplace new. Then, in two weeks or a month, once I know my way around and I don’t feel so out of place, everything is better. I just have to get there.


2 Responses to “Smoggy with a High Chance of Heat Exhaustion”

  1. Dad September 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    The glory of a liter bottle or two of frozen water in you backpack. If you freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and carry it in in your backpack it will provide a blessed coolness riding along on your lower back – make sure that you keep things that you don’t want damp in a dry-bag (laptop / phone / paper / …..) Get a cheap cheap nylon backpack that you don’t care if it is in a constant state of dampness – dry bag is a neoprene laptop case – keeps the damp out and adds a bit of shock padding. Bonus – you get to drink the cold water

  2. tonyddynot October 1, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    What are you doing in Chengdu? I was there last year..I loved it. Although I went in January………so I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it now. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: