Given the unreliable (read: scarce) nature of the electricity in this city, I have had to reinvent many things that I previously took for granted. One such thing is staying cool in a city that records 35 degree celsius averages: in winter.
So here are a few suggestions for how to stay cool in a hot climate without requiring electricity:
- Regular cold showers. Luckily, this one is quite easy, because I don’t have a functioning hot water geyser, so all my showers are cold.
- An earthen pot full of water. Directions for use: firstly, obtain an earthen pot, one with a wide base and a narrower neck/top. Secondly, wash said pot well in order to get rid of dirt and grime. Thirdly, fill with water and place a metal plate over the top of the pot. This will ensure that you have a constant supply of cool water to drink (provided you remember to fill it up when it gets empty).
- Ice cubes. Yes, I am aware that this option cheats a little bit because it requires electricity at some point during the process, but provided you keep your freezer shut they will stay frozen for many hours, and can be used at times of extreme desperation.
- Humidifier. Now, this isn’t your typical electrified humidifier. This is a bona fide, state of the art, cutting edge technology solution. Steps for use: obtain a container/vessel. Fill with water. Place in the corner of your room, and the water will evaporate, creating artificial humidity (which is more comfortable than dry heat, and less exhausting). This is fully customisable based on your interior decorating: if you’re a minimalist, you can use a nice polished steel container. If art deco is more your thing, feel free to obtain the most hideously bright container you can.
- Sleep naked. Just make sure your curtains/windows are closed.
- Wet blanket. Usually a negative thing that you don’t want at a party, this can be your new best friend on a hot summer night. Instead of inviting around your most socially awkward friend, try wetting a towel and putting it on your neck and shoulders. Just remember that it soon heats up and you will have to reapply water. Also, not the best option to take to bed at night: it fools you into thinking that you need to go to the bathroom almost constantly.