Keeping cool

We've had a heat wave* here in Amman for the last few days. It's been hovering close to 100F, with so much sunshine that you can hardly open your eyes. That's when the fact that all the buildings here are made from dazzlingly white (and somehow reflective-y-glisten-y) stone becomes a liability instead of an asset.

We're lucky to get a good breeze since we live on a hill (who doesn't in this city?), but last night, it was still very hot. Suddenly, Jeremy remembered something we used to do in Damascus but that we had completely forgotten about. He went to the freezer and got the reusable gel ice pack we use in our little cooler lunchbox from Costco. Then he put it on his back and went to sleep in cool comfort. It was like having his own personal AC unit.

In Damascus, we bought three or four little gel icepacks (they were called, strangely, "siffa packs") from our local pharmacy. The routine went something like this: we put all four of them in the freezer, and then at bedtime, we each got one. In the middle of the night when we woke up hot again (and the ice packs were defrosted), we'd go exchange them for fresh ones from the freezer. It was a wonderful system and kept us sleeping comfortably through summer and early autumn. I don't know how we ever forgot about it.

In any case, I'm glad Jeremy remembered it in time for the hot months ahead.

*When I hear that the weather in Tucson is 110F+ these days, I just laugh and laugh. We tell people in America that we go to the Middle East to escape Tucson summers, and they think we're kidding. Well, we're not.

The coolest watch ever