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!
P.S. That’s my small pool, above.
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