NaBloPoMo Comfort [ties]

It is swelteringly hot in my office right now.  It was like this last Friday, too.  Come to think of it, there hasn't been a day in the last few weeks when it hasn't been extremely hot in the afternoon.  Very few other people seem to mind, but I'm sitting here sweating up a storm.  It's like this on the Subway, too.  Everyone wears their coats, scarves, and gloves while I am forced to immediately rip off all outerwear and still end up sweating a fair amount.  I've tried meditation, deep breathing, drinking cold water, and wearing more breathable clothing, but I just cannot keep from getting overheated.  New Yorkers are crazy!!

At least, that's what it seems like from the outside.  I also thought that Peruvians were crazy because they rode buses for 7 hours at a time with no ventilation whatsoever.  Argentinians liked their air conditioning, so they were OK with me.  This highlights the relative, cultural nature of what it means to be comfortable.  Sometimes we chastise individuals for not being "tough" enough, or not being able to adapt to changing situations, but the truth is, sometimes we're not really able to do so.  It's a bodily response to sweat profusely.  I'm sure I'll get over it eventually, but until my body figures out how to cope, I will continue to do so and I will continue to be uncomfortable.  There's really nothing I can say to myself to make comfort suddenly spring from the stagnant, humid air and burst into my lungs, filling me with refreshing and revitalizing Comfrons (the quantum unit of comfort).

It's the same for food.  We are encouraged in foreign countries to eat the local fare, but more often than not our bodies tell us otherwise.  Preparation methods, local bacterial flora and the like keep our bodies from "going with the flow" (actually, this is usually the problem) and we end up miserable for a small amount of time until we either switch back to Americanized food or push through until our bodies adapt.  Neither way is necessarily better than the other, but it's important to recognize that it's not simply a matter of interest or cultural sensitivity.  Bodies are different because they're used to different things.

And I'm comfortable with 68 degrees everywhere, all the time, dammit.


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A blog about social change, written from Brooklyn, New York. Currently looking for contributors.