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Sunday, February 6, 2011

How We Survived the Sydney Heatwave

Today we finally get a break from the 6-day heatwave in Sydney.  I've been here for five years now and this was the longest heatwave I've experienced.  It was brutal and stressful.  The temperature went up to 42C in some areas, our suburb included.  I've tweeted about my experience everyday just to journal everything.  I even made a hashtag called #Sydneyheatwave for it. 

A few tweetmates have asked me if it's the same as experiencing summer in Manila and I emphasized that a heatwave in Australia is a weather catastrophe and this condition results to bushfire(s) and people die due to the heat.  Heatwaves go on for days and it's hard to function everyday even if we are sometimes confined inside an air-conditioned room.  As for experiences are concerned, no I have never experienced this kind of heat in Manila.  That is all I can say as I've never been in Manila during summertime for the past 5 years so I really have no basis for comparison.

The biggest blow of all was that our 2-year old cooler/humidifier died on us on Day 1 of the heatwave (31 Jan)--how lucky can we get? haha.  It doesn't work like an air-conditioner but it helped in cooling down our bedroom before we go to sleep.  That was our only salvation in getting a decent sleep and it died on us.

Our home is at its hottest from 3pm onwards.  Our balcony faces the west, hence the lovely sunset photographs I sometimes share.  So after work, my Husband and I would buy time at a nearby cafe before going home.  We'd camp out at the cafe and order drinks to refresh us.   We'd stay there until 7:30pm and go home.

Here's us at Max Brenner.

camped out in Max Brenner

We only hung out here once because it's expensive hehe.  Plus, all they ever serve are sweets.

We hung out more at Coffee Culture.  They have more options on the menu and we like the privacy of each cubicle there.  On Tuesday, I brought BananaQ from a Filipino store (of course, that's not from Coffee Culture hehe) and shared it with the Husband.  We ate discreetly so as not to offend the owners.  Just one stick to go with my Berry Crush smoothie.
BananaQ and Berry Crush Smoothie

Wednesday and Thursday, we didn't hang out at the cafe and tried to survive the heat at home.  But I swear, it was really painful.  Cooking while there was a heatwave going on must be one of the worst tortures ever.  I'm sorry for sounding so dramatic.  I can handle heat and sweat but a long heatwave, that's a different situation.

Friends call me during the week and would ask how I am and my answer would be,"I'm just trying to survive this heat."  That was just my focus last week.  There were so many things I needed to do, some errands that needed to be done and some articles to write but my mind wasn't as multi-tasking as usual.  

I made it to Friday---I was able to work til Friday--which I think was the greatest achievement of my week.  Some of my workmates didn't get to finish the week off due to stress and sleepless nights.  I'm glad I made it.

As a reward, my Husband and I met up again at a cafe before going home and treated myself to a tall glass of Iced Coffee.  Good thing we hung out before going home as it turned out Friday night was another hot night.  I wasn't able to sleep til 1ish in the morning but woke up around 2ish coz I was covered in sweat.  I went out the living room and lay down by the balcony door to get some fresh air.  That's where I slept from 3:00-5:00am.  At 5:00am, I had to transfer to our bedroom because the floor was giving me a backache.  I was able to sleep some more but I kept on waking up.  I got up very cranky and really really tired.

Yesterday was the hottest day, I think.  We had to attend a birthday party at a park in Manly Vale.  Good thing, the organizer chose a good spot with lots of shade.  My Husband and I decided that if it gets too hot to be outside we will immediately leave the party.  As it turned out, it was very windy--hot windy--so it was not that bad.  And the company was great.  It was great to catch up with friends whom we haven't seen in a long while.

Lucas' 1st bday

Lucas' 1st bday
at Many Vale Park
(Thanks to our friend Iori for this photo)
After the party, we went straight to the cafe near our home.  Berry Crush smoothie for me, while Cookies and Cream smoothie for the Husband.

Last night was the hottest night.  It was already 10pm and it was still 39C.  We don't usually eat at this time of the night but it was so hot still so I made baked chips and the Husband made Iced Tea while we watch a koreanovela (currently watching "My Princess).

This afternoon, the weather has changed.  It has been drizzling on and off now.  And the news has declared, "The Sydney heatwave is officially over".   There's a cool breeze outside and our home is slowly getting cooler.  However, I made an Orange smoothie (no sugar) to help us hydrate today as it was a bit hot in the morning.

freshly squeezed orange smoothie

I'm grateful we survived this long heatwave.  I'm glad we didn't get sick and hopefully won't get sick in the coming days.  I don't know if we will have another streak of heatwaves but my only prayer is that if we do have another heatwave, can it please be a shorter one?  

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