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24 – Some like it hot

27 December, 2011

Colombia climate is one of the oddest you can find. There are no four typical seasons like in the temperate zones, nor the division in dry and rainy season peculiar in tropical area. Or better, there are no middle seasons, but the alternate of dry and rainy (that here, like in all tropical countries, call winter and summer, while based on the temperature alone should be correct name dry summer and rainy summer) is repeated twice in a calendar year.

To explain better: since mid-December to March and from June to August it is summer and there is little rain (but it still rain, on contrary of what happen in many countries where dry is really dry), while in April-May and especially September to December it is rainy season and it rains a lot. The variations in temperature are really low, particularly in the lows: in Cali, may it rain or may it sunny, you don’t go under 18-22C. During the day instead it can be hot or very hot: 25C if it is raining a lot (but even when it’s pouring, it is very rare you have rain for 24 straight hours: even in worst days you always have some hours break, usually in the morning), and up to 35C, after some consecutive days with plenty of sun.

The good thing about Cali microclimate, the city is on a big wide valley at one thousand meter high, sandwiched between two Andean chains, and his humidity is always mitigated by the wind and fresh air coming from the mountains. So the oppressive, sticky heat that is the norm in many deserted tropical places, here it is very rare.

To give you an idea: at my place I never had the need of a fan nor a blanket for sleeping: in the hottest days I just stay bare to the waist, in the coldest a cotton jumper fits the bill. Cali climate was one of the biggest reason I ended up spend so much time in this city, although, to be fair, there is a huge quantity of virus passing by, and every so often half of the city is sick. I had my share days of sore throat, that like they say here, is quite tenaz. And if it’s raining, anybody don’t live home.

Anyway, here Winter, I mean rainy days, are just finished one week ago, exactly in the same days in the North hemisphere, the real Winter, was making officially his début. Unfortunately, due to the geologic, morphologic, orographic and so, characteristic of the soil, every Winter season in Colombia makes too much damage: rivers flooding, landslide, roads interrupted. In Cali the entire city had a complete gas shortage all last week, because of the breaking of a pipeline some hundreds miles away. Luckily they managed to repaired just in time for Christmas night, so families could prepare their meal at home.

The lack of home gas created me troubles especially in the morning, when it was time to prepare breakfast and shower. All this preamble about weather was meant just to speak about shower.

Before arriving in Cali I lived a month in Medellin, one of the many place that sell itself with the perfect “eternal spring” climate. And my place had no hot water, the shower was cold, it seemed frozen to me. I confess, I never washed so little like in that month.

In my first month in my place in Cali, I had no how water as well. But here temperatures, both in the water and in the air, are warmer enough, you don’t need to be a Mountain wolf to take a shower. The water is still cold, but not such a big deal. In fact most of the locals, that freeze in rainy days, take only cold showers, when at least a cheap Lorenzetti shower head, so popular in poor countries, cost seventy thousand pesos, and it is affordable by most of the families.

Lorenzetti showerhead

There was a time, even after I finally had hot water at home, I kept washing me in cold water, because it is good for your circulation, brain, it even help losing weight. My ordinary shower start hot and finish as cold as I can: this is not only the way recommended by doctors, it feel so good!

In the last month of rain though, I just had very long, and I mean really very long, hot showers, that gave me orgasmic pleasures.

Now, if this was a magazine piece, or if just I was more focused on my writing, I would have cut short this too long introduction and I would have started explain, quoting reliable sources, the pleasures and the benefit of a hot shower, a hot bath, a sauna, a hot Turkish bath.

Maybe you could have read some interesting take on why I, like many, like it hot. Instead it is 3pm, I just finished lunch, soon I have to go out, and my attention is already downhill. So I’ll say you bye-bye, my reader, and I go for a long shower. Very hot, of course.

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