It is hot in Vientiane. Searingly, blistering hot. Face peeling, energy sapping, miserably hot. ‘The toys in the playroom have melted’ hot!
I am not good with hot, unless it also involves cocktails, an infinity pool and an ocean breeze. Hot makes me short tempered and grumpy. This level of relentless weather torture makes me want to scream an ‘F’ word aloud, and it isn’t… ‘Fabulous’.
In Australia, they would have closed the schools. Thankfully, they didn’t in Vientiane because the schools have air-conditioning. We don’t. We should, but we don’t.
To add insult to injury, the powers that be chose this week to ‘upgrade’ the power lines in our village. On Tuesday (which peaked, by the way at 44 degrees), our house had no power and no water. That meant no fans, or air conditioning, no baby pool filled with toys to keep the toddler cool and happy. I was trying not to be bitter and miserable and feel sorry for myself so I laughed it off and instead choose to offer my pity to the poor, minimum wage workers who were on cherry pickers, in the full sun, working the power lines.
Wednesday and the sun blazed but the power and water were returned, or so it seemed. I tried not to be a sweating, irritable bag of misery. I took the kids to the pool. What a good mother! I arrived home at dusk to discover that there was no drinking water and the power, restored incorrectly, had been sending voltage surges to the house most of the afternoon so two of our air-con units were cactus!! Through gritted teeth I tried to remain positive. At least we have air-con to break down. Many people here don’t. But, as the baby wailed with heat and exhaustion, I tried not to scream ‘Fuuuuuuck’.
Yesterday, the other four units died because there was not enough power on the damaged grid to service all the houses in our neighbourhood. Yesterday, I bought four rolls of industrial tin foil and papered all the western windows in an effort to reflect the heat. Yesterday, I spent all day getting the run around from our air-con repair guy and found out at 5pm that he was retiring and didn’t want to come to the house… way to go, could have told me that at 10am when I first called and then I could have organised someone else. Not now. Now it is 41degrees in the baby’s room. Now my family have to spend another night in this heat, goodbye sleep, goodbye sanity… “FUCK YOU!”
So I screamed, and I cried, and I wallowed in self pity. I told G it was all his fault because he made us come and live here and he has NO IDEA what it is like because he sits in his air-conditioned office all day and I decided I was leaving, with the kids… maybe just me… Who knows!
Later, it was still obscenely, oppressively, impressively hot, and the baby still couldn’t sleep but my life partner was in the other room (The one with a working air-con unit) sleeping with the big girls, thinking I was an arse! I was lying under the fan with a wet towel over me thinking I was, maybe, an arse!
Today, I am sitting in air-conditioned bliss in a very nice hotel in Bangkok. My partner is still in Vientiane, in the heat, quite possibly with no fans or air. He is taking care of the Princesses so that I can have two lovely nights in Bangkok with my girlfriend for her birthday. So really… I am an arse!
But I am a remorseful arse. I promise, when I come home (and I miss you all already) I will try to keep my cool in the heat.
Thanks for reading! It makes me feel fabulous, even if I am a bit of an arse!