What up. How’s this weather? Hot lately, no?
Expat Brits drag themselves around town like they’re towing the very sun behind them in a tremendous molten puddle. Canadians slump over their iced beverages in Starbucks, red faces upturned to the airconditioners like rows of sundried tomatoes.
But you’ve lived here your whole life, and this heat isn’t even a thing to you. I’m also from a scorched land, so I’m doing okay too. I can tell you approve of my kids wearing only their undies for the past eight weeks except on the most formal occasions. Reciprocally, I – well, no, I wouldn’t say I approve of all your countrymen aged under 3o simply going about life sans shirts, and those over 30 adopting a more modest fashion of shirt-wearing whereby the front is raised above the nipples. But I am no longer confronted, and indeed I now quietly respect the unassuming “get on with it”ive-ness demonstrated. 98% humidity? Shit still needs to get done: just take your shirt off.
You are in your late 80s, and no doubt possessing all the wisdom of your many decades of experience, plus an inevitable dash of preternatural Oriental qi, but there’s one fundamental life lesson that seems to have passed you by. And it involves neighbourhood etiquette during summer.
WHEN IT’S HOT, DON’T SALT FISH OUTSIDE.
Just stop. That MASSIVE STINKING GROUPER that’s been festering outside your front door for the past 15 days, it isn’t right.
The diabolical stench penetrates through our tiled walls and makes sleep impossible. Venturing outdoors to collect our washing is now an operation involving timed breathing through a goretex face mask. I fear even after you eventually eat (!!) the rotten dried-out corpse, I will have a permanent olfactory memory of this nightmare. If my nostril hairs ever grow back.
I have yet to master your language so I’d be grateful if you could please pass this message on to the people living at number 3. You know, the ones who wheel out 40-gallon drums of prawns onto the front lawn whenever the mercury cracks 30. This is the time to leave seafood in the fridge. NOT ON THE LAWN, IN THE FRIDGE.
In the words of Kelis, noted environmental campaigner: your salted fish brings all the flies to the yard.