I’m back in Singapore for the summer holidays, and of course it sounds funny when we say it in Singapore, because it IS summer all the time but not holidays all the time.
Back in Beijing, it’s the first part of summer and temperatures have already soared to an occasional 40 degrees Celsius. However, it’s not the temperature readings that make the difference. Somehow, the sun is different too.
We used to read books where they would describe Asia as balmy weather, sweltering heat. While occasionally we see the words scorching, burning associated with warm hot summers. But having spent summer in both places, being under the sun is a totally different experience depending on where you’re at.
In Beijing, I’ve experienced a 29 degree day wearing a raglan tee with black sleeves and I would feel as though the parts of my arm covered by the black sleeves were being ironed or burnt. In Singapore, wearing black is not much difference from wearing blue red purple or whatever as it doesn’t feel burning hot, just warmer depending on the thickness of your clothes. So it is not uncommon to see people clad head to toe in black walking around.
Beijing sun also gives rise to freckles, and very dark charred looking skin. Even with a spf 50++ protection. Of course, the dry weather doesn’t help much. In Singapore, you can go around hatless with SPF 15++ on and still be freckle-less.
I struggled to summarize the differences initially to my friends, but eventually I did find my two simple sentences.
There, the sun is scorching burning hot. Here the sun is sauna type of hot. Now, which would you prefer?