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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Being Comfortable Is A Gas, Gas, Gas

With the weather here in Toronto being pretty warm lately - with humidity it's been around 40C (104F) - WTF - there's a centipede running around my computer table and I can't kill it because it's too fast -

Anyhow... I haven't stopped sweating since last Friday.

My central air-conditioner broke about two years ago, and since the wife is at school, it's just me and my single income ensuring the bills get paid and my son is covered in LEGO, so I haven't been able to dredge up the moolah to get it fixed.

What's the big deal I thought to myself... when I lived in this house as a kid, we didn't have air-conditioning until I was maybe 15. I survived then, I can survive now.

Of course I wasn't covered in hair and fat back then...

It reminds me of my first year in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

When it started to get really cold there in November, my bosses at the OBOE (Ohtawara Board of Education) office brought out the old kerosene heater and showed me how the thing worked.

In order to make heat, I had to prime it before turning it on... I still have no idea what that mean. As well, I also had to ensure that I left a door open to make sure I didn't asphyxiate from the kerosene gas fumes... so... basically, I had to leave my sliding door open and let in all of that nice cold fresh air so that my heater could warm up my apartment.

That's stupid.

With my sliding door to my balcony facing north, I got this nice constant jet or arctic air wafting down at me at about 1,000 miles (600 kilometers) per hour - freezing the marrow in my bones - just so this stupid kerosene heater could warm up an area about 10 feet in diameter.

Uh -huh.

My bedroom was a lot farther away than that. It was out of the windy zone, and away from the heat zone. It was in the holy-fug-it's-cold zone.

So... I decided to close the sliding door and hope like hell I survived. Besides... I couldn't smell any kerosene fumes. 

I did survive the night, but I had one hell of a headache the next day, and I think my face was either blue from the cold or from the lack of oxygen.

Fortunately I had an office day that next day and told them what I had done in an effort to explain my new complexion and brain damage. What, me worry?

Later that evening when I went home, there was a knock at the door as my office bosses came over and said they were waiting for the building superintendent to arrive so that they could have some work done to my apartment.

Another man came in with a heater - a wall heater that exhausted out to the new hole they made in my wall leading to the outside, that when turned on would heat my entire place.

I love my office. They obviously love me.

You getting such a great board of education bosses may not happen to you, but it might. No guarantees.

As an added bonus, seeing as I was now a hairy fellow - but not covered in fat as I am in 2013 - this wall unit also doubled as an air-conditioner.

No longer would I have to suffer the extreme heat and humidity of this part of Japan and could be as cool as my personality would allow, but I could also be toasty warm when the temperature dipped below freezing.

That did happen in my apartment once, as I had to chip the ice away from the top of my goldfish aquarium the day before I became blue with deprivation. Oxygen, that is.

And, while it is true I often joke around here in this blog - I really did have to chip ice away from my aquarium... I think I used a pair of scissors.

And now in 2013, with my brain cells more or less intact, though they have been fried recently from the heat, I fondly recall how my nearly killing myself with stubborn commonsense made my JET Program bosses at the OBOE see that a gaijin will do anything to feel comfortable.

Sometimes, I wish I was a gaijin again so I could have someone help me stop sweating... or at the very least kill that ... ughh... stupid centipede that keeps dashing around the damn computer. Where the HELL did it go? I feel itchy!

Andrew 'Jumping Jack Flash' Joseph
PS: All right! 35 minutes to conceive and write!

1 comment:

  1. Wha??? "All right! 35 minutes to conceive and write! " You gonna work on a 2nd child and then get back to writing?