Wet Heat

Nobody forgets the first time they experienced humidity. The moment the airport doors opened and there was this BAM and for a second or two you were stunned. Humidity isn’t “like someone’s opened the oven doors”, as some people would have it. That’s a dry, desert heat. Humidity is never being able to leave the bathroom after a long, hot shower. It’s when even the breeze is like a giant hairdryer blasting from afar. It’s an invisible cloud that slowly permeates between windows and through walls and, once settled, can only be removed by that most glorious of human inventions: the air conditioning unit.

Yet even air-con offers only temporary respite. Leave it on for an hour, two hours, all day, and you may think you’ve blown the humidity out for good. Turn it off, though, and silently, instantaneously, the humidity creeps out from the corners and ten minutes later you’re back to where you started.

Even at night, at 2 or 3 am, when the sun is away toasting the other side of the world, humidity hangs like a damp, heavy blanket. It’s like an old, smelly dog that stubbornly refuses to move from the fireplace. Humidity just doesn’t go away.

Now it’s June, and the big sweat has begun. For the past week the temperature has been well in to the 30s and the humidity at 80-90%. This will last until, oooh…. October. This is Hong Kong.



  1. Liz Foulis · June 4, 2013

    It must be very difficult to work in the heat and humidity! How do you cope?

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