Burning up in Adelaide

It’s going to be a blazing 46°C today in South Australia … (Photo by runrunrun @ sxc.hu)

It’s 8.35am, and it’s already 29°C outside. After a fitful night where I lay on hot bedsheets while the fan blew hot air in my face, I’m now in the kitchen, the coolest part of the house (and that’s debatable). My laptop is heating up, I’m sweating like crazy and although we’ve shut every door and rolled down every blind to keep out the glare and heat of the relentless sun, it is not helping much. By 11am it will be a horrible 39° and just an hour before I have to leave for work, it’ll be 43°C. I’m planning to wear a T-shirt to work so that I can take it off and wear my uniform when I get there. Because I’m pretty sure I’ll be soaked by the time I get there.

If you’re wondering why I have not turned on the air conditioning, that’s because it’s broken. What a way to live through summer, eh?

I find myself talking about the weather a lot since moving to South Australia. In Malaysia, we have boring weather. It’s either hot or rainy. And the seasons that we get? Hot & Rainy, Very hot & rainy or Not-so-hot and very rainy.

Now, in Australia, the weather changes as quickly as I change my socks. One moment you’d have to snuggle under your doona. A few hours later you’d have to chuck your doona and don singlet and shorts instead. Temperatures can drop by 10-20 degrees in a few hours.

I mostly love the weather in Australia. Mostly. But if there’s one season I hate with the heat of a thousand suns, it would be summer. This is my third summer in Australia (first summer was in Perth) and I’m no closer to liking it.

This is partly because I grew up in tropical Malaysia and I’ve had enough of the heat. And also because the hottest day of summer is twice as worst than the hottest day in Malaysia. At least in Malaysia we have the assurance of rain to cool the day. In summer, you’d see rain, what, once in a few weeks if you’re lucky? The heat never lets up, and it’s the sunlight on your skin is piercing; like laser beams that threaten to burn your skin off. The vegetation fares no better; the sun beats relentlessly on the ground, turning grass into dry tinder that crackle under your slippers.

That’s why in summer you wait in dread for

Bushfires and grassfires. They are common throughout Australia. Grassfires are fast moving, passing in 5-10 seconds and smouldering for minutes while other fires can sweep across vast areas and continue burning for many weeks. (Geoscience Australia)

Bushfires and grassfires. They are common throughout Australia. Grassfires are fast moving, passing in 5-10 seconds and smouldering for minutes while other fires can sweep across vast areas and continue burning for many weeks. (Geoscience Australia)

There are already bushfires in Perth and South Australia was also hit.

My colleague, who lives up in Adelaide Hills, is on alert. If her house is in danger, she would be alerted by SMS and she hopes to rush up there to rescue her cat.

This is the reality every summer, and there are signboards in red around the hills telling people to be careful during the danger months (about December to April). People who live in bushland and the hills are susceptible to this threat.

Meanwhile, all I can do is stew in my sweat and wait for the repairman to have a look at our centralised air conditioner. Will I get a reprieve tonight when it’s 27°C? Well, I’ll keep you updated! 😉

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2 thoughts on “Burning up in Adelaide

  1. Hi Susan,

    I am also a malaysian who just got to Sydney and facing the same difficulty as you haaa…. I enjoy reading your blog.

    I just started my blog as well as a place to share out of frustration too.

    Vicky

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