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Heat Exhaustion

Despite living in the dry state of California where the sun is always visible, the heat hits you differently when you are in a different country.

It has only been two weeks into my study abroad and I have already faced the dangers of heat exhaustion while searching for an apartment.

You would think a twenty minute walk in a foreign neighborhood would be a relatively nice experience considering it’s not a long walk and the skies are clear, but unfortunately, it is not. It was terrible, and I found out the hard way.

When I exited the station near the agency that was going to help me find my apartment, I was still under the impression that it wouldn’t be too hot. I thought walking would be fine and that I wouldn’t need to take the bus. However, I quickly realized how wrong I was when the cooling effects of AC wore off. Within five minutes of being outside, I was sweating buckets. The sun was harsh, the humidity was high, and there was very little wind.

It felt like I was standing in a sticky oven.

I tried to brush off the heat, but was ultimately unsuccessful. The nausea hit me after a good ten minutes and my head started to throb. The sticky kind of heat that I wasn’t used to made my head spin and I sweated more than I ever did back in California. The fact that I was lost and had to wander the streets for another 10 minutes did not help me feel any better.

Throughout the walk that I considered a hellish experience, I noticed that there were a ton of Japanese people that had their umbrellas out. At first, I wondered why they were using umbrellas when it was clear out, but I soon understood why when I nearly collapsed on the streets that day.

They used it to cover themselves from the harsh sun and to stay cool.

Color me impressed.

After seeing that, I knew I needed to quickly prevent myself from any further suffering by following the life hacks of the country that I was in.

Talk about an “improvise, adapt, and overcome” type of situation.

I didn’t expect to be put in this type of situation from the get-go, yet here we are.

In the end, through much sweat and perseverance, I managed to get to the agency safely. I didn’t collapse on the road (thankfully), and I managed to find an apartment.

As uneventful and boring as this whole thing sounds, that day was what made me realize how fearful I am of Japan’s hot weather. I do not want to pass out in the middle of the street during the hottest months of Japan.

Hopefully, as the year goes by, I will get more accustomed to the heat. For now, the best I can do is go out and buy an umbrella to avoid burning to a crisp.

I am improvising and adapting. Soon, I hope to overcome this fear of Japan’s heat.

The view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
On the day I went apartment hunting, there were no clouds in sight. A couple days later, a typhoon rolled in so the skies were gray. I really wished I went out apartment hunting when it was cloudy and cool to avoid heat exhaustion.

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