Let me explain for those who do not know what it is like in Durban, KZN, South Arica. It is “blerrie” hot and humid! You never feel dry. Taking a cool shower in the morning is a relief after waking up hot and sticky from tossing about all night playing cat and mice with mosquitoes and trying to find a cool spot on your bed. That relief is short lived because you then realise that you may only be fully dry in about a months’ time. Clothes stick to you as you try to get dressed and make-up for ladies becomes a joke as it is probably going to reach your belly button before lunchtime.
The incessant rains of December and January, which fall daily when Durban is packed with tourists, comes to a halt. Any rainfall just adds to the humidity and is seen as a curse not a blessing even though grass is starting to resemble the Highveld in winter.
Geckos, those awful transparent creatures that crawl about ones walls and “drop their load” (aka poop) all over your curtains, are revered for their mosquito catching skills. Bread not eaten within 2 days turns into a science project. Just how many colours of mould are there? Even leather handbags and shoes cannot escape the tyranny of the humidity as they develop a film of white, smelly mould.
True, a lot of Durbanites have swimming pools. So what? A dip in the pool is more like taking a bath. You need to dose the pool with so much chlorine to keep the algae away that it is a bath that removes your first 6 layers of skin and burns your eyes so that you look like a pink eye patient all month. That last layer of precious skin peels off anyway because applying moisturiser is like trying to mix oil and water.
So, for the month of February, ladies pack away their defunct hair straighteners and blow dryers. Deodorant and sunscreen sales skyrocket. Lethargy is a common complaint and the talk around water coolers is repetitive – “Phew, how hot is it today?” Love it or hate it, February in Durban does come to an end and Durbanites once again boast about living in the best little patch of paradise in the world.