It’s hot again.
It’s the kind of hot that requires you to map each trip outdoors.
To be taken into account:
The distance to your destination
Daily traffic patterns
The shadier sidewalks
The number of Starbucks to step into for quick AC and free ice water hits
I nailed it yesterday, and even the DNC volunteers outside the strip clubs who wondered if I wanted to “help elect Democrats” didn’t even slow my roll. My standard answer to any organization that’s sent their college-aged interns/zealots to my street corner is “Sorry, it’s a conflict of interests.” Whether that means I’m either against whatever caper they’re selling or that their presence is violating my right to cowardly slip inside Camelot is up to them.
But while it’s been hot here in DC it’s not nearly as bad as a recent trip to Eastern Europe where everyday I wondered aloud if Freon was a banned chemical under some recent EU mandate. It was salt stains on your suit collar hot. The brief respites were the odd cafés or hotels which advertised air conditions but merely featured a sorry fan blowing meekly over a small block of ice.
The people I was able to cobble up conversations with were not impressed with my complaints and seemed proud of their cooled internal fortitude. (Even though small beads of sweat dripped down their temples, betraying their discomfort like Superman standing on some sort of newly formed Atlantic crystalline island) And when I mentioned the heat wave that killed more than a 10,000 a few years back, to a person they said “ah, but mostly in France,” as if a few thousand less French were perfectly acceptable.
And nights provided no respite. On one particular evening we trekked* from bar to bar looking for a club that satisfied our stereotypical views of European nightlife. We finally fell into a place called the Qbar and stewed in our juices for a few minutes as a remixed version of Sweet Dreams provided motivation for a mixture of dancing prostitutes. Perfect.
(My accusation that they were prostitutes is based on two things. First, is this sign.
There was one about every 100 feet, some like this and some with a big red line across them. As far as we could tell some areas permitted hooking and some did not. I also don’t know if the man imaged is a john or a pimp but I’m leaning toward the latter based on the small change purse he seems to be carrying. If there is one thing I’ve learned from growing up in the mean streets of North Arlington is that change purse = pimp. The second reason I’m guessing they were prostitutes was their willingness to trade money for sex.)
Unfortunately, after running up a 150 Euro bar tab with whiskey, vodka, lager and cider drinks we were informed that our giant American credit cards were not accepted, cash only and we had about 20 shekels between us. Luckily, according to our waitress, there was an ATM just meters down the street and I volunteered to make a withdrawal. Unluckily, it seems my inability to decipher her accent found me walking kilometers to the described ATM. Of course it was out of service. I finally found one blocks away, inside a room that required a card swipe to get in. And that room, with all its complicated Wien computerized machinery, was about 120 degrees. And the directions were not in American. And I couldn’t find the button that unlocked the door. And I was almost a little panicky and had heatstroke.
I fully expected to find my comrades washing dishes when I returned but they were happily chatting away with the locals, including one gentleman with that awful haircut I hate. Once our tab was evened we stumbled home in a drenched state and fell asleep to the soothing sounds of a flowing Danube.
Actually, before I fell asleep, I watched a little bit of this program.
As far I can tell this young woman is named Cheyenne and is a big fan of football and taking her shirt off. And fake lobsters. But beyond that I had no idea what was going on, though I watched anyways.
*We had to walk as the cab driver refused to give our fat, American asses a ride. We believe the standard but disappointingly unoriginal “Bush is Hitler” excuse was given.