Hot All Over: Your Calls from Cultures of Heat

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cactus, Desert, Saguaro Saguaro Cactus in Arizona's Sonoran Desert (Flickr: jonkeegan)

Listeners from hot climates around the world share how the weather has influenced local cultures, from architecture to food. Tell us your story of living with heat — anywhere in the world. What do you remember about living a lifestyle of a really hot culture? Call us at 212-433-9692, that's 212-433-WNYC.

Comments [6]

Sara from NYC

While living in India for a year, we adjusted in various ways. Of course, we never went out in the noonday sun! At night we would wet our sheets in the shower, turn on the overhead fans, and put the sheets over us in bed. They kept us cool as the water evaporated. Many people slept on their roofs. If any home was lucky enough to have an air conditioner, which was very rare, the entire family would sleep in the room with the A/C.

Jul. 23 2014 02:08 AM
Tom from UWS

Mad Dogs And Englishmen ~ Noel Coward

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire to tear their clothes off and perspire.
It's one of the rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much too sultry
And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray.
The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they're obviously, definitely nuts!

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,
The Japanese don´t care to, the Chinese wouldn´t dare to,
Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one
But Englishmen detest-a siesta.
In the Philippines they have lovely screens to protect you from the glare.
In the Malay States, there are hats like plates which the Britishers won't wear.
At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

It's such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see,
that though the English are effete, they're quite impervious to heat,
When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he will impale his solar topee on a tree.
It seems such a shame when the English claim the earth,
They give rise to such hilarity and mirth.
Ha ha ha ha hoo hoo hoo hoo hee hee hee hee ......

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it.
In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun,
They put their Scotch or Rye down, and lie down.
In a jungle town where the sun beats down to the rage of man and beast
The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit more creased.
In Bangkok at twelve o'clock they foam at the mouth and run,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The smallest Malay rabbit deplores this foolish habit.
In Hong Kong they strike a gong and fire off a noonday gun,
To reprimand each inmate who's in late.
In the mangrove swamps where the python romps
there is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous lie around and snooze, for there's nothing else to do.
In Bengal to move at all is seldom ever done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Jul. 22 2014 11:29 AM
Alex from BPC

In a lot of Latin American countries with very hot/humid weather they use Persian blinds outside of their windows. These are usually made of some kind of vinyl and serve the key purpose of shading the windows before the sun can get in allowing for shade and open windows to circulate the air where there is no AC. Having a shade on the inside of the window both allows and traps heat inside of the room. Unfortunately these kinds of blinds outside of windows are illegal in NYC.

Jul. 22 2014 11:23 AM
KB from New york

When I complain about heat, most Americans they tell me come on you are from Africa! You must like it! What they don't understand is not all Africa is hot and I am form Ethiopia it is very pleasant in most of the places in Ethiopia. Brain please tell New Yorkers Africa is not a country it a continent and not all places have the same temperature.


Jul. 22 2014 11:20 AM
Rebecca from Jersey City, NJ

I grew up in the Phoenix area and the older residents tell stories of sleeping on rooftops to take advantage of what few breezes came by. I remember as a kid in the 80s and 90s running the hose into our pool because the water was so warm it felt like a bath. The relatively cool water came out of the hose and made for the best spot in the pool.

Jul. 22 2014 11:18 AM
Steven from Brooklyn

Famous golfer, Bobby Jones (1902 - 1971 when asked for his thoughts on playing on a day when it was 110 in the shade, responded, "good thing we don't have to play in the shade".

Jul. 22 2014 11:13 AM

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