Sunday, July 4, 2010

7月4日Day 101: Happy Fourth

This is how I spent my fifth consecutive Fourth of July away from home: swan paddle-boating in Kichijoji.

A few friends wanted to go hit the American army base to celebrate Independence Day and to watch the fireworks. But seeing as I don't like to increase my chances of being violated, degraded, and harassed by members of the American Armed forces, I chose the swans... and the sweat.

No amount of words could describe the disgust I feel in this humidity. Walking outside feels like walking into a sauna. Sweat drips down from my face and I'm not even running... I'm not even MOVING and I'm sweating.

You would think that wearing a skirt or a light dress would save me and make the humidity more bearable and airy. Instead, I feel sticky. Nothing I can wear will make me feel NOT sticky. I've had a lot more 2 shower days than normal because I literally can't stand the feeling of clothes sticking to my body, or oil emanating from my forehead, making my hair stick to my face. I had to open a handkerchief that I had originally bought for someone at home and use it for myself because I needed something to wipe my perpetually sweaty brow with.

What I don't understand is the fact that despite this repulsive weather, Japanese girls are still wearing 10,000 layers of clothing, leggings, jeans, and cakey makeup with their immaculately styled (and somehow non-poofy) coifs. I look a fine mess every day-- hair in a tizzy, make-up running, fan frantically and shamelessly waving in one hand whilst brandishing a precautionary umbrella in the other... but these girls look like they all just stepped out of some horribly over-dressed fairy tale, which is amazing considering it's the rainy season.

梅雨(つゆ, tsuyu):the rainy season. It's certainly been interesting living through this... and all Japanese weather in general. The rainy season is basically like a menopausal woman: seemingly quiet and over-exaggerated for the most part, with random unprovoked downpours of Biblical proportions the rest of the time...

My basic rule of thumb for avoiding and predicting the rain is simple: if your neighbors are hanging their laundry to dry outside, it's not gonna rain. If there's no laundry out, bring an umbrella.

*Cultural note: Japanese housewives do laundry EVERY DAY. It's their job. Seriously.

Today, the bastards had their laundry inside, so I wore my rain boots and brought my big umbrella, expecting a fair amount of moisture. WRONG. It only drizzled from 8:30-12:00, meaning I looked like a total jackass in my rain boots while everyone else was wearing platform sandals to keep their feet dry. God-- don't my neighbors know how much I depend on them?! We're supposed to be a team! A thriving ecosystem! >_<;;

But luckily, it's the last week of the rainy season... so it'll be drier heat again! LET THE SUN SHINE IN!

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