Saturday, January 29, 2011

Three showers a day - just to stay cool

Usually taking a shower or two or three or four times a day helps to keep me cool, in spite of the tropical heat and humidity.  There’s nothing like chilly water to bring down your body heat and restore comfort.

But now, during the summer weeks, there is no escape from the heat.  Even the water that is supposed to bring relief is warmed beyond anything refreshing.

The typical water system in Brazilian homes and apartment buildings involves having a large water tank on the roof. Water is pumped up into the holding tank, then gravity provides the pressure needed to deliver this water to various faucets, showers and toilets.  When showering you experience water falling on you – not shooting out at an accelerated rate.

As you might imagine, when the water supply is stored in a tank on the roof – it gets cooked by the summer sun. So by mid-day or evening, that water is practically hot.  Cold or even cool water is not an option.

Cool showers are taken in the morning.  By noon, showers are lukewarm.  In the evening the water is nearly hot (even when set to the cold option).

So instead we freeze drinking water in the freezer.  Rather than try to cool down with water poured over our skin, we seek relief from cold water poured into our stomach.  And with ceiling fans.

Now that I live here – I totally understand the idea of afternoon siestas.  While not a big tradition here in Brazil, I get it why they would be normal in some cultures.  It is just too hot in midday to do anything.


Nina said...

Ricardo's dad lives in the Pantanal, there is only about a 4-5 hour a day work schedule- everyday. It's super crazy hot all year round. You will be terrible sick if you try to work more.

But now it's crazy hot. I can't take much more and sadly it's only started.

Luasol (Jane) said...

I heard it was 41 in Rio. That is way too hot! Stay cool.

Lindsey said...

Pair the crazy heat with a giant lunch and I don't see how anyone works between 12 and 2!

Belly baths and ceiling fans... hmm that's giving me some great ideas!

GingerV said...

we arrived up in the mountains yesterday - hot but not HOT. In Rio I take about 4 showers also. it removes the salty - humidy feel on the skin if nothing else. then stand under a fan to dry off, and are good for the next two hours.

we don't own any fans up here - just have never been necessary.... now may buy one for night use.