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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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The Influence of Global Warming hr576

I live in an apartment that is enclosed by the mountains and a five-minute walk to the ski slopes. It was built about 30 years ago, when this area was cool enough to be lived without an air conditioner in high summer. As an air conditioner was assumed unnecessary, my apartment has the structure that an air conditioner can’t be set up. But in recent years, the temperature here reaches above 91 degrees in the summer time. While I’m not sure global warming plays a part in this, my apartment is now evidently too hot to live a normal life without an air conditioner in the summer. Every day I fill up a plastic bottle with water, freeze it and use it as a portable cooler inside my apartment. It’s possible to set up an electrical cooler on the window, but it would cool only one room while it would occupy a large part of the widow blocking the view and making my apartment dark. Besides, since my apartment was designed without a possible use of an air conditioner, the allocation of the maximum electricity for each apartment is low and I would worry about a circuit breaker all the time not to have a blackout. Even so, when an unbearably hot summer ended last year, I decided to place a cooler on the window for the next summer. And as the way of the world, I forgot the heat I had suffered when autumn came. By spring, I couldn’t remember why I needed a cooler altogether. Then, summer arrived again with stronger heat. There is a communal spa in the building for the residents of this apartment complex and a cold bath is operated there every day in the high season. I used it a lot this summer. The small tub is filled with extremely cold water because the tap water is from the mountains. The water cools off my body instantly and I’m hooked with its sensation. Being submerged up to my neck in it, with my heart pumping and my teeth chattering in ten seconds, I can no longer tell whether I’m fierily hot or freezing cold. I get a scare every time that my heart might stop in this cold water. Especially in the hot summer like this year though, it was so easy for me to push away my fear of a heart attack and I plunged in it three times one evening, making it my new record. Next day, I had a sore throat and began to cough. Then I was running a fever and had stayed in bed for a week. I caught a cold by three plunges into a cold bath. I hated my poor immune system and felt wretched about myself. After I got rid of a fever and got out of bed, persistent coughing has continued to make me miserable over ten days. While I was scuffling with my cold, summer is coming to an end. I didn’t get a cooler this summer either again…

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