‘Can you put this in the charity box?” said my wife, handing me a large black plastic bag that seemed like it would burst open any moment.
My son peered inside the bag and started giggling. “Mum, do you know what’s the temperature outside and which part of the world we are in?” he said.
My wife was trying to get rid of the stuff we had accumulated over the years as we prepared to move out of Dubai, and in the bag there was a calf-length Canadian goose Trillium with a fur parka. It is a very light coat, but very bulky and once you put it on, the weather around you magically changes and you will not blink an eye even if the wind shear drops the temperature down to minus 20 degrees Celsius, but you can barely move once you button up.
There were leather gloves I first bought when we had landed in Canada. Once you slip them on you are completely incapacitated and simple things like signing a bank form, smoking a cigarette or trying to hold the door open for someone becomes a major task as you try to work the fingers somewhere deep beneath the goose down where they are nicely sung and toasty.
In the bag were boots that I remember took a very long time to lace up. By the time I had put on my quilted jacket I could no longer bend down to tie the laces.
“The nearest charity box is in a mall and it has glass windows so everyone can see what you are dropping inside. I cannot toss winter clothes in it. The mall security may arrest me, thinking that I am mocking the needy,” I told my wife.
As we were getting rid of our winter clothes, Dubai, meanwhile, was preparing people for the summer ahead. In July, nobody makes any wisecracks anymore such as, “Hot enough for you”, Or “It is not the heat, but the humidity.”
Emiratis and expatriates turn inwards at this time and never venture outdoors, unless of course, you are one of those crazy joggers you see turning beet-red while running, with the noon Sun shining mercilessly overhead. Those of us who unfortunately have to wait for a bus where there is no air-conditioned bus stop, you have to wrap your face with a handkerchief or a scarf.
I am not sure what I like better: Cold or the hot climate. In the cold climate, you feel hungrier and hot food tastes nice, you have more energy, the only downer is that as you get older, your joints sound like a creaky door and you can’t ride a motorbike, or a horse and cannot go on a trek.
The hot weather is fun because you can drink jugs of lemonade, have oodles of ice cream, and enjoy water sports all year round. The only problem is that if you do not take care of your skin from the harsh sunrays it starts to sag like an elephant’s forehead and you have to make frequent visits to the plastic surgeon to look young again. I looked up what the weatherman had to say about the weather in Bangalore, where we are headed to next month and which will be our home at least for the next two years: The cool season lasts for 3.9 months, from September 14 to January 10, with an average daily temperature below 28 degrees Celsius. The hot season lasts for 2.4 months, from March 8 to May 20, with an average daily temperature above 32.5 degree Celsius.
I am beginning to wonder whether this song with these lyrics is meant for me: ‘Everywhere you go/ you always take the weather with you.’
Mahmood Saberi is a freelance journalist based in Dubai. You can follow him on Twitter at @mahmood_saberi.