Before moving to Wuxi, I lived all my life in England, which means I had 30-ahem years where more than one day of 25°C + was described as a heat wave. There would be a rush on fans and barbecues, ice cream would sell out etc. So, when I read the description of Wuxi’s climate as being sub-tropical with August being the hottest month I didn’t really realise what that meant. After nearly two weeks here, I am starting to understand.
The temperature has averaged about 29-30°C since we have been here. However, it is very humid, so it actually feels about 10°C hotter. It doesn’t really get any cooler at night. So, I get up in the morning, shower, blow-dry my hair, get dressed and go out. Five minutes after leaving the nice air-conditioned apartment I find I am covered in a fine layer of sweat and my hair has turned into a giant frizz ball. 15 minutes later and I am searching desperately for anywhere that might have air-conditioning and my plans to explore the city are abandoned. So, I come home, have another shower and start again.
The heat makes it pretty difficult to sleep at night, especially when combined with the super hard mattresses (you can buy wooden mattresses toppers to make your bed even more uncomfortable if you choose). I wonder whether this explains the phenomenon of ‘people sleeping in strange places’ we have observed around the city. It is not unusual to see people asleep on furniture in Walmart, on a bench outside a restaurant, on a wall, on the pavement or even balanced across their scooter trolley and a railing. It seems to be quite an acceptable thing to do and I might be giving it a go myself if it doesn’t start to cool down soon.