Back in the Big Sushi; What’s with this Weather?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack in the Big Sushi after three weeks in Canada. And I mean, come on. When I left Tokyo in July, the temps were in the mid-30’s: seven to eight degrees above seasonal average. Now it’s August, and once again we’re well above the norm. last Saturday reached 37 degrees, and Sunday was even hotter at 38. Thirty-eight degrees. That’s hot enough to sweat the nicotine patch right off ya. What do you even do in heat like that? Well, this being Japan, you carry on with business as usual. At least in Seoul, even in the cowboy-capitalist language school where I worked for a year, we took a siesta in the heat of the afternoon. Come in after lunch, and you’d see an entire staff of teachers, receptionists, even the owner, asleep at their desk. Then again, the school opened at, like, seven in the morning, and stayed open ’til ten at night…

Then again, according to this Bloomberg article,

Air-conditioning in South Korea’s public buildings has been shut off as the government yesterday warned of power shortages. China has opened air-raid shelters as makeshift cooling stations, while thousands in Japan have been hospitalized for heatstroke.

Enough about the weather. It’s good to be back in the modest little house R. and I share in the wilds of semi-rural Nerima, in western Tokyo. The neighbour’s rooster still crows at odd hours, the cicadas are at it again,  and I don’t know how that goat can stand having fur in this heat. But the vegetables, the cucumbers and cabbage, are fresh and cheap in the local coin lockers (it’s a Japan thing; yes you can buy vegetables, and sometimes cut flowers, from coin lockers in semi-farm areas like this), and the convenience store is open 24 hours with mandarin orange and apple pear popsicles.

The new school year approaches. This year, in addition to teaching and a few personal projects, I plan to continue to work on Tokyo Psychogeographic: think of it as a flaneur’s guide to neighbourhoods interesting and mundane in the city. Stay tuned!

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