…So…Singapore. The cleanest, most well organized city I have ever seen. Truly a vision from the future, a city that all others should aspire to. But it’s also one of the wettest. Wettest, she says? WET-TEST. Let me be clear, Bangkok was humid, expectedly. My jeans slid clean off my hips from the soaked through nature of the fabric and could no longer support their weight. But I knew that was going to happen. I went to Thailand fully aware and prepared for the heat and humidity, even in what we North Americans call ‘winter’.
Singapore, however, snuck up on me. I spent most of my first day wandering around, warm but not uncomfortable. It was hot, sure, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Somewhere in the middle of the day, however, things changed.
In an instant, a cartoon flash, a comic book BANG!, I became overwhelmed with unrelenting, complete saturation. Literally out of nowhere I would find myself dripping sweat off my face – not down, OFF – down my neck, my clavicle, drops raced to make a home in my shirt, ensuring it would adhere to my body as if an immobile cotton exoskeleton. This was quite a surprise given that I was so dehydrated in Denver, I could etch my name in the dry skin on my legs, a condition from which I am yet to recover.
I continued to sweat profusely without explanation for several mid-day hours. My shoulders became greasy and slick and could not support the strap of my bag; it slid further down my oil streaked skin with every step I took. Desperate, I searched drug stores for ancient eastern remedies for hyperhidrosis. I used bits of tissue and napkin to mop my brow and then had to pick soggy bits of balled up paper off my face. Most I would get, some I would find melted into my skin hours later; I’d walked the streets of this lovely city with toilet paper freckles. I would break to drink water, cool off, combat this silent destroyer of my humanity. It was to no avail. I had no choice but stop what I was doing and seek refuge.
I raced back to my hotel to shower and change, freezing the second I hit the frigid air conditioning and started the evaporation process.
Sometimes I buy the English cucumbers that come individually wrapped in plastic. Occasionally, I cut one end off and try to shimmy and slide the cuke out of its shrink wrapped home. I never succeed. That’s exactly what it was like taking my pants off. One cucumber leg at a time.
Here’s the thing: it’s really not that hot!