With a reputation for the wettest city in Canada, this summer’s unexpected stretch of dry skies and sunshine has been a welcome but somewhat unfamiliar guest on the West Coast. And, for those residents in the Lower Mainland from far-flung countries, the heat echoes memories of places left behind but not forgotten.
With a cafe on every corner, it’s hard not to drop in for a frappuccino on a hot day, and that’s exactly how I found Sonja Soo, a UBC student, who says her favourite way to stay cool is to kick back with a cold drink like a frappuccino or a smoothie. On the other hand, Sonja says the Chinese believe cold drinks are unhealthy and may cause indigestion, which is why they also enjoy hot drinks such as green tea.
Tatiana Mawani, whose family is from Nairobi, Kenya, explains that, unlike Vancouver, their summer months are actually from December to March; and winter is June to September. According to Tatiana, the summer weather is considered mild, and her strategy for keeping cool is to drink coconut water straight from the coconut. As a sun-lover, she says it’s always important to stay hydrated, wear a hat, and a surefire way to stay out of the sun is to go out in the evenings when it’s much cooler.
Summer is the best time for vacations and relaxing with your family and friends. That’s how Gregory Dreyshner likes to enjoy his summers. As a car salesman hailing from Russia, he spent his summers cooling off with his family at an all-inclusive resort in Sochi, known as the “summer resort capital” of Russia, on the coast of the Black Sea. To escape the heat, Gregory suggests swimming. A dip in the pool is a refreshing way to chill out and leave behind all your troubles on land – just remember to wear sunscreen and stay in the shade, he warns.
Air conditioning all the way
As common sense would suggest, if it’s hot outside, stay inside. And it’s hard to imagine life without air conditioning in the summer.
“From what I’ve observed, many people frequent malls where it’s an air-conditioned entertainment zone with clothing stores, restaurants and even arcades,” says Ervin Oktariadi. “Many young adults enjoy recreational sports that can be played indoors at air-conditioned facilities since it is likely too hot outside.”
Like other cold-drink loving interviewees, Ervin states that one thing most Indonesians do is drink iced tea or barley juice to stay cool. An added benefit of barley juice is that it’s good for detoxing the digestive system.
When it comes to beating the heat, it appears no matter where they’re from, most people have similar ways to stay cool in the summer, and we share a bond through our methods to escape the heat.