My “Almost” Daily Walks

The best part of my “almost” daily walks is when the cool foyer of the building where we live plucks me from the dragon’s clutches and softly welcomes me back. Yes, I still go for walks, albeit at night when the sun has been put to bed and it is more tolerable to be outside. I must confess that I did experience a serious bout of lethargy a couple of weeks ago when there was a spike in the daily temperature, but I have managed to shed the worst of it. Or so it seems at this point in time anyway. Since Sunday I have been walking daily, and I managed a total of 12km last week, which is not too bad, I think, considering it is still about 33°C when I venture outside.

I have adopted the strategy of switching the air-conditioner off about two hours before my intended walk and to open a window. That way I slowly lure my body out of the comfortable 28°C cocoon of my inner sanctum, before rudely dumping it into the muggy air that lurks outside. There is nothing ‘fresh’ about the air quality anymore: not in the early morning hours and certainly not at night. There is an ever present nauseating sweetness that smells like decaying fruit. It is a shock to my nostrils every time I step outside or open a window. Yikes, summer does not smell nice!

There are still a surprising number of people walking and even running on the Corniche, both in the morning and late afternoon/evening, although the numbers have dwindled considerably. All movement seems to be focused on preserving energy and has become just a tad slower and more reserved than usual. Gone is the gay abandon of socialising outside. The chatter has been replaced with an atmosphere that is subdued and timid. The children still paddle their bikes with short bursts of enthusiasm and joy, but it seems that discomfort stalks them, as I now hear more kids crying than before.

The odd feral cat can still be spotted hunting or scavenging for food, but in general they seem thinner, listless, tired. As I walk and observe my surroundings, I wonder if it is just my own lassitude that tints my view of my surroundings, or if people do move and behave differently when confronted with this drenching heat.

After my body has absorbed the shock of stepping out, I find that I fall into a comfortable rhythm that makes for a pleasant experience, despite the perspiration that with every step manage to glue my clothes tighter to my body. The upside of perspiring is that when a sometimes hesitant breeze stir the liquid air, my brain is fooled into thinking that there is a lick of coolness momentarily resting against my body.

Michael, my ever so thoughtful and kind husband, has offered to buy me a treadmill. I, initially, have dismissed the need for one, and although I still enjoy my “almost” daily walks, I know that the heat will only intensify in the coming months, and I have caught myself fantasizing about walking in cool air . . .