Comes the bochorno


Beware, this pool looks cool, but the water is hot as…

If it’s fall in Tropica, it’s bochorno.  Sultry, stuffy, sweltering, sweaty, steaming, suffering, suffocating, swampy. Oppressive. Impossible. Giving up.  Giving in.

It’s 7 a.m. and drops of sweat are sliding down my butt as I sit writing this.  I am sitting still.  It’s 7 a.m.  I just had to repeat that.

Bochorno is a fall favorite.  In the summer it rains, is steamy and merely hot — in the 100sF, or 40s Celsius.  But it’s not bochorno. Bochorno is heat plus extreme humidity, not just weighing on your skin, but on your soul as well. Bochorno sits on you. It’s a weather condition that results in an emotional condition. Like J.K. Rowling’s dementors in Harry Potter, a bochorno sucks the spirit out of you, sucks all good things from life.

The pool?  Forget it. Feels like swimming in warm piss.  There is no relief and that’s part of bochorno. You could sit in your ac…but mine’s broken right now. Or to go to the beach in the evening when the winds come up.  Hot, moist winds.

Tropicans commiserate in borchono.  “Que bochorno!” they say. Everyone’s sweaty, drippy, wet. People excuse themselves from air kissing and stop apologizing for their soggy looking clothes. By the way, horno (as in bochorno) means oven in Spanish.

How can we stand it?  What do we do?  It just goes with the territory. Bochorno is strip off the clothes, get down to your most basic self. Emotions are bared and raw.


We Tropicans treat bochorno like an illness.  It’s fine to take to your bed, your couch, sit in front of a fan and get up only to get an iced hibiscus tea. You can excuse yourself from social events, be late to work, not even go to work.

How can we live here you ask? It’s just the way it is, it’s where we live. The French have mistral, the Californians go crazy with the Santa Ana winds. Eskimos have 50 words for snow, Brits have many words for rain, Tropicans have words for heat.

Then one day in late September or early October something in the air shifts. You breathe, you smile, you feel cheerful again.

I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you this week.  I always write from the heart, in the moment, and today, this was it.

Dear readers, I adore hearing tales from where you live, because I fantasize about misty rain (as opposed to tropical downpour), sweater weather and bracing mountain air.  Is there something about where you live, that you can share with us today? It can be celebratory, or, complaining. Always fascinating!

Wishes for a happy Labor Day to all my readers in the U.S. and bonne rentree to everyone around the world!

xo Liza

P.S.  That’s my small pool, above.

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20 thoughts on “Comes the bochorno

  1. Today is a bright sunny & hot day here in Central Florida. We are anticipating a tropical event mid week. Could just be a rain event or a full fledged hurricane. The weather people are still unsure. We really need the rain so everyone is actually looking forward to some of that. Our preps include getting the gas tank filled, buy water, food that does not require cooking in case we lose power, get all your valuables ready if we need to evacuate and have CASH on hand since you can’t use credit cards or ATM’s if no power.. Such is the life of a Floridian in this season of Tropical storms.
    Chill out Liza!

  2. I’m tent glamping in a meadow in the mountains surrounding the Methow Valley in Washington State. Its a chilly AM and I’m bundled in a blanket watching the sun come up on what will be a warm day. Cool mornings and evenings, brisk nights and warm days….my favorite season of autumn is nearly here!

  3. Just finishing my morning coffee in western Washington. .looking out over the gulf course..beautiful green everywhere,.
    We have had our short summer and now, cool mornings and nights are upon us. The golfers have arrived at hole six with layered clothing soon to be discarded . Fall is fastly approaching. .cool and golden. Then it is time to get ready for the short, misty, Grey and rainy days…and plan a trip to the tropics

    1. Oh Karen, sounds like heaven to me! Thank you for the visual you shared with us. And, visiting the tropics is always a good idea. Visiting, I said!

  4. It is 9.15pm where I live in a small sea side town 90 minutes from Cape Town. I’m wearing a fleecy top with leggings and thick socks and have just added a shawl as the night gets cooler. We are edging into Spring early this year, lots of wild flowers and my partner is already complaining about his hay fever. No doubt there will still be some cold rainy days but Summer is on the horizon.

    1. Helloooo Gail so far away! Lovely for me that my post got to you there! Love it. Thanks for sharing your cozy moment. Wondering what your summers are like! Carry on!

  5. It’s cool-ish today, here in Auckland New Zealand, although we’ve had some lovely days recently, and spring is just around the corner. Yay! I love the warmth, but am not sure that I could handle the heat you mention! Oh, and it’s not la rentrée here – that happens in February after our summer break. Hang in there!

    1. Alison! Thanks ever so much for checking in. I’d love to visit New Zealand some day. You must be so happy spring is near. Hope you get outside lots and enjoy your beautiful countryside. Carry on!

  6. It’s 11 pm and 17 degrees Celsius here in the centre of Ireland. Autumn is coming and the evenings are drawing in. I can’t imagine what 40 degrees even feels like !! Lol

  7. I’ve made up my own word for our heat here in Philadelphia, PA, USA
    I call it HOTCHAMONIE!!!
    Then I add a few appropriate emoji images 🔥💥👹😡

    We are on our 8th or 9th official heat wave…temps above 90’s for over three consecutive days. That’s not to mention the “real feel” temps when factoring in the dew points.
    News reports it been the hottest August on record!
    It seems to have begun at the end of May.

    Seeking some relief,
    Took a quick trip north, up to Saratoga Springs, NY. A couple of hundred miles from
    Montreal, Canada…
    Guess what?
    In the 90’s here this week. Ugh…
    Nowhere to run…no where to hide…and not a pool in sight.
    If only all this perspiration could contribute to weight loss!
    Hang in there Liza.
    Autumn will arrive sooner or later. 🍃🍂🍁🌾

  8. I live in the southwest corner of Germany, near Heidelberg. It’s the warmest area of the country, our weather is warm (about 30°Celcius today) and unfortunately also humid.
    It’s late afternoon, 7 p.m, I sit in the living room, the patio door is wide open, the light wind blows the curtains. So it is easily bearable.
    I enjoy the last days of holiday, read a lot, drink coffee, reflect about anything and everything.
    I only move when I do my yoga exercises early in the morning.
    Fortunately the air at night is more pleasant again as a few days ago. The dog days are over.

    Warm regards to you and to the Campliza community .

    1. I adore Germany, Heather! Thank you ever so much for sharing your moment with us. I love the open patio door, the wind blowing the curtains. What a beautiful, tranquil picture you paint. Carry on your beautiful life!

  9. I’m saying hi to you from Perth in Western Australia 😃
    We are starting to hear kookaburra ‘s in the morning and this means Spring is on its way. It is officially the start of Spring tomorrow . Winter is trying hard to hang on today. Lots of rain and wind . We really do need the rain so no complaints about that.
    We lived in Dubai for a short time and the humidity DOES suck the life out of you. I could feel it in your article.
    Hope you AC comes back to life real soon 💨

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