Warnings in May 2006

There’s a guy we know. He got here last September, and does quite well for himself. He speaks a bit of the local lingo, can get around without someone holding his hand, and has gotten to know more people than you’d have expected. If you’ve ever moved to a new city, you know it’s not that hard, but it’s not a given, especially if you’re not funny and shockingly handsome like me. Having brains is overrated. He’s an alright dude, but enough with the compliments; there’re a few things he just can’t grasp. He doesn’t understand why no one has ever heard of the Isle of Man. I mean aside from off-shore bankers, tax evaders, and migrating seagulls, who would have? He’s like Oprah with the weight when it comes to his passport; he constantly loses it, then finds it again. Most ignorant of all is that he just doesn’t grasp the concept of heat. For the past few weeks, I have been giddy with the weather. When he sees me, he just laughs. I keep saying that he should enjoy it while it lasts. I’ve been here for a while, and have endured the summer heat for exactly the same number of years that I have fingers. Our friend says he knows heat, and continues shaking his head with a silly grin. He knows nothing. Forget Miami and Shaq, the Hangzhou heat is something else. For those of you who haven’t felt it, I warn you that it’s about to come. For those of you who have, I warn you to remember and be ecstatic while it still sits at bay.

If that bay doesn’t hit us in May, it’ll be here in June for sure. Then it’ll sit its two-hundred kilo ass right on top of our heads in July and August. Right now, I wake up in the late morning to pleasant sunlight. The blanket is still a little cool. A slight breeze bellows the curtains. I neither yearn for a hot coffee nor a cold beer. Room temperature green tea with wolfberries is perfect. My plants need watering only twice a week. I wear T-shirts in the daytime, and button-downs at night. Just when the heat starts to show its ugly ass, the rain cools us off again. The streets are teaming with people who have hid themselves under layers of clothes and walls of concrete for the winter. Barbeques are planned, and flowers line the patios we have them on. Tea pickers are still swarmed over the hills getting the last of the good stuff. Life is good, or in other words, I’m as horny as a herd of rhinoceros. How could anyone not be? The winter sucked, and that fat ass is just at bay.

I won’t go on about winter again, but will refresh you on what’s to come. You remember that witch in Oz who turns into water? That’s what happens after five minutes of exposure when summer comes. I sweat so much that my belt turns into a literal dam for the downward floods. Anti-perspirant clumps so bad that I’ve had to cut it out of my armpit hairs. Those black and white striped mosquitoes, move faster than bats and suck more than vampires. Smog strangles, and exhaust envelops. Luckily, we still have a bit of time, so be like a dog, and stick your head out the window. Wag that tongue, and smile. The bay is away for now.

By Tim Hoerle