The oppressive heat leaves you feeling lifeless. You are caught in a relentless heatwave as temperatures across the Mediterranean soar to record levels. And to make matters worse, the air conditioning system in your home has broken down. It is unbearable.

You wake up early in the morning and wander aimlessly around until it dawns on you, mainly because of the pressing need, that it is the bathroom you are looking for. You have just emerged from another sleepless night, tossing and turning in your bed while the rotating ceiling fan continues to stir the hot air in the room. Rather than rested, you feel roasted, just like a turkey in a fan-assisted oven after marinating overnight in salty juices.

Photo credit: Petras Gagilas / Flickr

Craving desperately for a full night’s rest, your thoughts travel to the seaside, and you contemplate the joy of laying your overheated body on a sunbed in the shade of a brightly coloured umbrella as a cool, gentle sea breeze flows by.

Time to stop daydreaming and get ready for work. After the first of a series of showers throughout the day you feel refreshed and revived, but no sooner had you eaten your breakfast and drank your coffee than perspiration beaded on your forehead.

Now that you’ve plucked up courage to brave the scorching outdoors, you stumble your way in a zombie-like movement across the street to where your car is parked, clutching a bottle of ice-cold drinking water in your hand as if your entire life depended on it. Even though it is relatively early in the day, you can feel the sun beating down on you mercilessly.

There isn’t a single cloud in the clear blue sky, just the blazing sun floating high above. Neither is there anybody in sight. The gentle humming of the neighbours’ air-conditioning units is drowned out by the loud and monotonous chirping of male crickets hidden in the trees. They want to attract the females. Seriously? It’s sizzling hot! Shouldn’t Mother Nature inform these creatures that it would be in the interest of their well-being to postpone this strenuous activity to the cooler hours of the day?

Expectedly, the car is a like a furnace, and the first touch of the steering wheel scalds your hands. For a short while, you go back to wistfully daydreaming about the beach, but your mood changes drastically as soon as you feel cool air coming from the vehicle’s air conditioner. You are overjoyed at the brief respite from the heat and, with renewed energy, you are even belting out the songs they are playing on the radio breakfast show.

Your mood remains positive even when the traffic in all directions comes to a standstill, so long as you keep artificially cool. When you finally arrive at work, the same cold air welcomes you to your desk. A rush of relief washes over you and your face is beaming. When it’s sweltering at home, your workplace is an absolute lifesaver!