Sunday, 29 August 2010

I make a promise to a polar bear

Before I go any further, I need to apologise to the environment. No, I need to throw myself prostrate on the floor, beg forgiveness, self flagellate, stick pins in my right hand and turn off the air con.

I am experiencing major guilt crisis over this. An extramarital affair probably pales into insignificance. Because what I am doing is trashing the prospects of a tiny polar bear cub. Right now, it is staring at me mournfully, the last limp fish of the ocean flopping at its feet, polar bear tears dripping from its big brown eyes, with the melting ice cap disintegrating all around, and it is pleading Why Grit? Why?

So far, since we arrived here, we have carelessly thrashed every air con unit in the house to within an inch of its life. All thanks to our pathetic maladjustment and the hot and steaming temperatures climbing daily through the Celsius 30s all around us.

And there's worse. We have committed crimes much worse. Because my intuition about how to negotiate an overheated house is at deep variance to the technology that exists here to cool me down.

I open the windows, forget that I did that, then switch on the air con, meanwhile everyone leaves the room. Two hours later I come back in and think Hmmm, the air con is not very effective, is it? Better turn it up. Ignorant all the while that no-one had the thought to shut the bloody windows, and the fact that I didn't check is all everyone's fault too. There is only so much of this heavy guilt trip I am making alone.

But if only that were it. When we have wasted all the day's energy produced by Lamma power station, disintegrated the upper atmosphere, stood in front of the open fridge door having a fifteen minute debate about the pros and cons of grape juice versus peach drink, then we go down to the shops and buy the imported tin of baked beans. Produced in Middlesex, shipped all the way over to Asia, scorned by the kids.

Enough is enough. I have imposed a ten-minute rule on the air con, found the sad cat charity shop, eye-spied the local bins, located the recycling aluminium point, and renewed my vows to the land of hippie living with the acquisition of a slab of local hand pressed bean curd and an extra large sack of noodles from the noodle shop.

It's not enough, and we're all doomed. Baby polar bear, forgive me. Now I need to keep the fridge for the beer, but be assured that from this point on, you can come and live in it, anytime you want.


Nora said...

Poor Grit, it's tough to be environmentally responsible and to save little polar bears singlehandedly. I'll promise to do my share too, so go easy on the guilt.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Ah but without the air con just think of the heat you would all generate pumping into the atmosphere! Does that help the guilt? How about another beer then.....

Katherine said...

I know this feeling well. I get it regularly every time I drive to Tech which is only 6 minutes walk across the fields, but 6 minutes in the car by road.

On a happier note, please thank the gritlets again for my lovely felt broaches. I've just affixed them to my three favourite coats, where they look fab, and will stay.

Oh, and when are you coming to New Zealand?

sharon said...

Dealing with the levels of heat and humidity in HK you need to use aircon so don't feel too bad - just don't open the bloody windows when it's running!

We decided against aircon when building our house as the humidity is low most of the year but we do have ceiling fans in the large rooms and free-standing ones in the smaller ones.

Rachel M. said...

South Florida has the same weather as Hong Kong year around, I'm used to it - took quite a long time though! Air conditioner just becomes a way of life around here.

Grit said...

thank you for your comments people. you are all trying to make me feel better, i can tell. i do. i do feel a bit better. and i have found the plastic recycling bin too.

(New Zealand is on the hit list, Katherine, so you just have to be prepared!)