May 30, 2013

It's not the heat, it's the humidity

I am sitting in my 84°F house wearing only slightly more than modesty necessitates and perspiring. Which leads me to wonder if discomfort in warm (hot!) weather is somehow genetic. Do my Nordic ancestors doom me to uncomfortably sweaty summers? When the vikings landed on ice-covered Greenland and named it that, were they cannily keeping tourists out of their frigid playground?

Then I thought of India.
I've never been to India, but I imagine it is warm there. At 8:00 am today, it was already 86°F. The humidity was hovering near 70%. Gandhi, in real life and in the movie, never got frostbite wandering the dirt roads in little more than a pillowcase.
Throughout most of the 1800s and nearly half of the 1900s India belonged to the British. Queen Victoria was also crowned Empress of India. As such, quite a few Brits colonized the place (or as they would say, "colonised"). Wearing clothes like this:

How is it that millions of them didn't turn into puddles on the promenade. Perhaps they surrendered India to independence because they just couldn't stand the heat.
But really, all this proves is, 1.) I'm very lucky to not live in an era when hosiery and corsets were obligatory, and 2.) I'm a wimp.

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