I lived in the desert for four summers. The sweltering hot, Las Vegas desert.
When people would tell me it was worse on the East Coast, that at least it was not humid, I would always retort: “You may not think it is bad, but try blowing a hair dryer on your face non-stop for a summer. Then, tell me the desert heat is bareable.”
The only way I survived those brutal summers in Las Vegas was with my trusty, beloved air-con. I stayed inside until the sun crept low into the sky (and even then, outside was hothothot). If I had to go outside, it would only be to get me from Point A to Point B. Both of which blasted me with a cool shot of artificially cool air the moment I stepped inside.
Sweet, cool air.
After returning from the cooler Goreme in the Cappidocia region of Turkey, I was blasted with heat. The uncomfortable kind where sweat pours out of the body and pools.
I arrived back to Harmony Hostel (Canan, the girl who runs the hostel had e-mailed me earlier in the week telling me Harmony was my “second home, please come back,” so I did).
Chris, one of favorite Aussies and Romanian travel buddy, greeted me upstairs as soon as I arrived back following a 10 hour bus ride from Cappidocia to Istanbul.
It was so good to see him. A familiar face from the start of my travels.
“Hi,” he said, going to hug me.
I stepped back a bit.
“Chris, I am disgusting,” I said, covered in sweat.
He hugged me anyway.
We caught up that night, over a beer and some lentil soup (why I had hot soup is beyond me), then I retreated to my bed.
Holy shit. There was absolutely no air.
I laid down.
Stifling heat. Dripping sweat. I can’t sleep like this.
The last time I stayed at Harmony, I had a fan blowing in my face, making the summer heat bearable. But this time, no fan. No breeze. Just stale, hostel air creeping into every pore of my body, boiling water within me and oozing it out.
I tossed. I turned. I used the top sheet to wipe off the wet. I woke up at 7 a.m. when the sun came up and the heat, once again, blistered into the room.
I climbed up to the rooftop terrace, hoping to catch a break.
Instead, I was greeted with a big, blue backpack and three messages from Scotty on my Facebook.
Essentially, he was leaving Turkey and heading for greener pastures. He left his pack at my hostel and asked me to keep an eye on it, saying he would be by soon to come and hang out with me.
An hour later, I was greeted to his smiling face and big, blue eyes.
“Hi honey!” We both cooed. Granted, we had just seen each other last night, but we were so groggy, so tired, so achy from the bus ride … it seemed like light years since the evening before.
We sat online for an hour, trying to figure out when he would leave Istanbul and where he would go in the meantime.
“I just want a shower and cool,” I informed him.
“Come with me!” He said, eyes sparkling. “I’m getting a hotel room with air-con and a shower!!”
We went and talked to Chris, who was taking it easy that day, and I was lured quickly to his hotel, a tram ride and a walk away.
During that 10 minute walk, carrying his day pack, I broke out once again in dripping sweat.
We finally arrived to his room and the first thing we did was turn on the air-con.
“You shower, I am going to sort out my plane ticket out of here,” he instructed.
He didn’t have to tell me twice.
I got in the shower and just let the cold water rush over me, cooling me back to a normal temperature.
Then, Claire met me in the room and we both basked in the cool breeze the air-con was emitting, eventually both passing out for a catnap.
The next night in the hostel wasn’t so bad. I had an entire day to cool down. And then, the following night, Canan informed me I was sleeping in her room — with air-con. And, to make things even better, the next three nights, I was moved to a different room, where I took control of the AC remote and slept cool … sometimes too cool … but blissfully happy in my non-sweaty state.