Seven months ago, I was sitting in my office at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi and lamenting the 130-degree Fahrenheit temperature outside.
To get to work, I’d waited outside for a cab, and then had to beg the driver to turn the air conditioning to full blast. Upon arrival, I was so hot that I declined the office morning coffee service — a great perk of working in Arab culture — and asked for iced water instead. I was pretty sure I was wilting, or worse.
Let me clear about that heat. IT WAS NOT A DRY HEAT! Wait, that’s not exactly true. It is a dry heat but so hot and so dry that it’s hotter and drier than, hmmm, than the hottest and dryest temperature you’ve ever known. It’s often windy too, which makes it feel like you’re living inside the heating element of your hair dryer.
I was pretty good about wearing sunscreen on my face every day, and wearing a hat. Still, I felt like the sun was sitting right on my head. I neglected to put sunscreen on my hands for some dumb reason, and they seem to have accumulated a lifetime worth of damage in 10 months.
Listen, I have lived and traveled in Africa, Southeast Asia and the U.S. West, but never ever have I experienced heat like Abu Dhabi.
So are we clear?
Okay, back to my desk on that particular morning. Before digging into to some work, I decided to google Iceland. I stared at the landscape with longing.
And then, I looked for flights. And then, I bought them. And then, I sort of forgot about them.
Turns out that we’re going to Iceland tomorrow. And I’m totally cool with that.