We’ve just had our first typhoon of the year. Nothing serious, but this entire week has been so bloody humid and wet. This is typical of Japan’s wet season (tsuyu 梅雨) and its the absolutely worst. After living here for four years, I’ve yet to get accustomed to the country’s summer climate. And I don’t think I ever will. From June to September, Japan experiences everything; increasing humidity, heatwaves, tropical storms, typhoons and migrating jellyfish.
Yesterday was absolute nightmare. The trains were delayed by forty minutes, even though it wasn’t particularly raining hard. I missed the school bus, which normally gives me a lift up the hill to the school. So I arrived as if I’d just climbed Mt.Fuji and trekked through the Amazon Rainforest ; a sweaty, wet mess. The teacher greeted me with “It’s a bit hot today, right?”, I sarcastically replied with “Ah, no. I’m fine, thanks”.
Thankfully the schools have finally allowed us to use the air-conditioning. I’ve been told that in the neighbouring area, most of the schools don’t have the luxury and are consigned to a couple of wall-mounted fans in each room. That being said, while it’s cool in the classroom, the principle has deemed it unnecessary to turn the coolers on in the teachers’ office. F••k knows why!
Simply walking to the train station, a 10 minute walk, is a herculean task of finding the tiniest amount of shade, and recognising the wind direction. And when I do make it, I reframe from sitting down on public transport for fear that my “butt sweats” will seep into my shorts. Yes, it gets that bad for me. But as a result, I pretty much know where the air-conditioning is on every train. Thus it’s always a mad dash to get close to it.
The humid climate has brought about the mass migration of crabs and frogs. The other day, we had a crab strolling around the teachers’ office. Apparently they live up in the mountains around here for some reason. Meanwhile the frog population found in the rice paddles have started to seek alternative space i.e. the roads. The amount of flattened amphibians is welcomed by my girlfriend, but the rotting smell isn’t.
Walking around the city is another coordinated affair. Shortcuts are taken through shopping malls and supermarkets to take advantage of their cooling systems. “Oh those t-shirts, near the air-conditioning, look nice!”. I will say that if you’re looking to lose weight, then a Japanese summer is the best time to do so. Plenty of liquids, smaller portion sizes and constant sweltering heat, perfect for losing a few kilos. Just try and cut down on the ice-cream.
With my trip back home in a couple of weeks, I’ll just have to man up and deal with it for a little while longer.
Now where is that ice cream?!