“Maden im Speckmantel”: At 35 degrees the brain stops working

In the German language there is a saying: Feeling like a maggot in bacon. Actually it means having a good and easy-going life, not worrying about anything. Lea and I, however, put a new meaning to that saying, which in my opinion very nicely describes our state of being in Tirana: sweating, feeling sticky and not being to move or do anything. Usually I am a person who loves sunny weather. Here, however, the heat is a challenge for body and mind.

by Hanna

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For sure most people know about that prejudice about people in southern countries who are said not to work too hard and prefer having a 4 to 6 or 7 hours lasting siesta. After more than two weeks spending in a country constantly reaching temperatures above 35 degrees (and not only as a tourist but being supposed to work) I really came to understand this philosophy. Even more, I appreciate it and I realized that it is most probably the only possible thing to do. Usually, getting up before 7am is quite impossible to me. Now, it has become quite impossible to do differently as we start working at 8 (besides, it is hard to sleep longer anyway because of such reasons as the barking dog, squealing cocks and the construction works in our house). Then, when walking the few kilometers to our centre I already start sweating (which happens exactly when crossing the Skanderbergplatz). Fortunately, there are some shadowy spots at the centre, but too much movement seems to be hard even for the kids. After two hours I feel that it has become that hot that returning by foot is almost impossible, at least for me and I finally came to understand that the local bus service is really a wonderful thing, although in the beginning I considered it as complicated and annoying. Back home, most of us are not able to do anything besides sleeping or maybe reading or listening to music. Time for siesta. From 5pm on I think the brains might have cooled down a bit and could be able to go back to work. For people like us – used to work from 9 to 5 with 16-22 degrees in summertime – I think adopting and getting used to such a life style is the only way to survive these temperatures but also a very nice attitude to bring back home.

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