I have written in this blog before that during the thirteen years between 1962 and 1975 during which I spent more time in Vietnam than I did in the U.S., I acclimatized to the tropical climate of Southeast Asia and never readjusted after my return to the U.S. That meant that I always found the temperatures in the U.S. too cool. Winters were the worst when I bundled up against the cold. But summers were rarely warm enough. I did the best I could.
Starting several days ago, temperatures here in Columbia, Maryland have been in and out of the nineties. I feel like I’m back home again. I’m most comfortable when I’m sitting on my deck at the back of my house facing the pond, shirtless, reveling in the warmth. This is my time. I’m at home.
Most people I know find my taste in temperature uncomfortable. I keep my thermostat that controls the air conditioning in my house set to 82 degrees. Many find that too warm. I find it a little too cool.
That’s partly because my office, in the lowest level of my split-level house, is cooler than the upper floors. It often gets down to 70 degrees. I adjust by wearing sweat clothes that cover my body. Then, when I go back upstairs, and especially when I go out on my deck, I strip down to as little as possible—just enough clothing to be judged as minimally decent. I could probably go nude, but I’m leery about being caught.
I’ll probably never reacclimatize to the U.S. I’ll always have to compensate. No problem. I cherish the time I spent in the tropics. Getting used to the U.S. is small potatoes.