Summer season has just begun in Cyprus and soon she will be in full swing, thereby my summer self is in full preparation for the heat.

The warmer weather means that just about everything about me is slowing down to a very gentle pace. My daily walks take longer in the summer as opposed to the winter – one must preserve energy! I don’t react as quickly as I normally do in the summer, the world around me feels slightly blurry, and suddenly people talking directly to me sound louder somehow. It’s as though I’m out of sync with the island… a very odd feeling indeed.

But the most unfortunate phenomenon is that my brain cells seem to take serious advantage of the slower person they inhabit this time of year. Yes, during the hot summer season, my brain puts up a Closed Due to the Heat sign and resigns to laying back on a sun bed and drinking pina coladas all day… in bulk. Now, if only the rest of me could join my brain on this holiday. Sadly, my work would likely not appreciate me replacing my desk with a sun bed. And pina coladas are generally not an approved office beverage (Yes, even on an island).

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I do continue to do my best to function and I can of course uphold a normal conversation (if such a thing truly exists…), but I often find myself not running at standard form. I’ve come to think of my summer self as The Overheated – a type of islander who, much like an overused appliance, has trouble maintaining full capacity during the summertime and doesn’t return to their normal, energetic self until they get a break in the form of cool breezes come November.

Island Summer seems to hit us all differently. In my experience, in addition to The Overheated (like me), there are three other types of islanders when it comes to the summer heat:

 

The Refuser

The Refuser does just that – declines to acknowledge the change in temps. It may as well always be island summer to them year round. They are the ones powering through the hot spells like there is no tomorrow, ignoring the heat and humidity. In response to anyone whining about the heat, their reply is always, “It’s actually not so hot this year. I feel fine. I can do this. I sure can.” These islanders put enormous effort into dressing correctly for work in the mornings, despite knowing full well that upon arriving to the office, all attempts that have been made are completely pointless. While they now look worse than they did when they woke up – frizzy hair, smudged mascara, makeup melting down their faces, sweat stains on their shirts – they’re the first to reassure everyone that this has nothing to do with the heat – they’re fine, not to worry. It feels great outside.

 

The Embracer

The Embracer loves nothing more than a scorching summer day on the rock. These people are the ones that live in Cyprus solely to enjoy the sun and the oh so hot weather. Embracers can be found on the beach 24/7 and are recognizable by their advanced tan in early February which has, by the end of August, taken on a slight resemblance to the exterior of a dried coconut. These islanders are constantly breaking out in superlatives about how wonderful they feel now that summer is finally here, while pleasantly ignoring the lingering sweaty stench around them (let’s face it, we all have it during the heat waves). When summer is over, they seem to vanish overnight, probably off to some other sun-drenched island to soak up some more intense heat, only to come back when the temps climb here once again.

 

The Complainer

The Complainer hates the heat – no one is mistaken about that. These islanders start sweating at the mere mention of summer coming closer. Complainers avoid any activities that could potentially cause any excess sweat and stay indoors most of the time with the A/C set on constant deep-freeze mode. Typical quotes from a Complainer include: “It’s soooooo hot out! Please make it stop. I can’t wait for it to be cooler again!” and “Isn’t your A/C working? Can’t you make it colder in here? Please turn it up, I’m dying!” Oddly enough, on the rare occasions that these people do venture outdoors, they are usually dressed in long-sleeves and trousers in the blazing heat (even when not needed for medical reasons), while still complaining it is too hot… year in and year out.

 

 

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How do you handle the increased heat and humidity in the summer months on your rock? Do you fall into one of these types of islanders?

Christina Myrianthous

Current Rock of Residence:

Limassol, Cyprus

Island Girl Since:

1990

Originally Hails From:

Gothenburg, Sweden

Dragged to Cyprus on vacation by her best friend, some horrifyingly high number of years ago, Christina so did not want to spend her hard-earned holiday in an expat-friendly environment. No, she wanted to travel to a much more original and exotic destination and be free from all Swedish influence and only meet with interesting locals. The three weeks they spent on this rock that summer so long ago did not exactly live up to Christina's expectations. Although they managed to mix in some ancient culture sightseeing between bar-hopping and yes, they did meet with quite a few of the local people (mostly men in bars) but nevertheless, she somehow managed to make this rock her home, raised her two wonderful kids here all while working in various establishments ranging from having her own creperie to selling BBQ spare ribs out of a van. She can’t say she's regretted it one single day. Living in the sun has made her a better person, a more relaxed and tolerating individual, and why would she want to change that?

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