It was a hot day. It was the kind of day where I didn’t stop sweating after getting out of my “cold” shower. At least that’s what the spigot said it was—turned all the way to the right on the cold setting, it was anything but that. So I was sweating and sweating so much that my pants had sweat marks running down them. And I was waiting for a cab at just the wrong time, and I was directly under the sun. My feet were being fried on top of my sandals. When I caught a reflection of myself in the window of a bus passing by, I frightened myself. There wasn’t a taxi in sight, so of course I lit up a cigarette which is the worst thing anybody can do in this heat. Immediately after my first puff, I could feel sweat pouring down my face even more. My pulse quickened. I threw it in the gutter just before the street sweeper got to me which was embarrassing enough. This guy had on long sleeves and was as dry as a bone. And he was working, not simply waiting for a cab. Why aren’t there more taxis in this city? But the only thing I could do was to not be frustrated. The more anxious I got, the hotter I got, so I decided to turn off all of my thinking, and just stare at the leaves in the overhead trees. They were swaying ever so gently. Cab after cab after cab drove by all occupied. When after over thirty minutes in the sun, I finally got a cab, the a/c exhaust directional was broken, so the sweat continued, but the driver at least gave me a few tissues from his glove box.
He then got on the telephone and started speaking in some strange dialect, but again this was no time to get upset at my lack of lingo, it was a time to appreciate the fact that he could speak something different. When I finally got to my favorite little cafe to order my iced latte, they too were repairing their a/c. And they too were ignoring my presence and speaking in French. But once again this was no time to get all bent out of shape for not studying in high school. I was too hot. I then went, albiet slowly, down to my local bar and ordered some jiaozi from the place next door. Isn’t it cool when you can do that? That was the coolest thing about the day so far. I finally got my lunch, and the damn things were hot, but what could I expect, cold jiaozi? And then my chopstick ability failed me, and I kept breaking the jiaozi in half. No it wasn’t my inability to use the chopsticks, it was that they had made the skin so thin that they had to be first broken and then eaten half at a time. Strange how the heat changes everything.
By Tim Hoerle