Heat & Skin

(travel blog – Australia)

Have you ever asked yourself what it feels like to be one of the melting watches in Dali’s highly acclaimed masterpiece? I don’t wanna offend any interpretation but my current perspective from a merciless Australian autumn simply sees liquid metal and dripping glas resulting out of a purely unwhimsical motivation: heat. In nerd tongue that means it has suffered fire and not arcane damage.

The barrier of 35°C has been exceeded for 9 days in a row with most days stepping over the 40 degree threshold. Hurray, with my own skin i witnessed the fall of an all-time record. Thank you, Australia, for choosing me. I will always treasure this episode of award winning torture. This is what hell must feel like, because leaving the house means wading through a mild firestorm. The thick, viscid air resists your every effort. People in the streets are slouching from the brute force of the sun, like slaves from a whip. But the whip is more like a flail with molten morning stars attached at the end. Dogs are panting at night while they sleep. Everything seems slowed down in the glimmering heat; movement impaired by friction and distortion. It makes you feel insecure. It makes you feel mortal. The world could end.

But part of the pain is not only the infernal breeze itself. The amount of exposed skin i have to bear when i use public transportation is not less of a challenge. How do Australian men, or the male members of any hot country in general endure this constant tease? Admittedly it often is a little bit too much out there. One time i encountered so many naked legs and arms and barely hidden breasts on tram 75 that it felt like someone hit me in the face with a big ham and then wrapped it around my neck. Tight, short jeans covering more skin above than below the belly are not helping. Translucent summer dresses assuming every curve in slightest wind are not a relief either, nor are spaghetti tops and swinging hips in hot pants. But then again a lot of girls around me are so young that clad in high heels and balancing on wedges, and with the grace of new born giraffes, they stumble and fall more over campus and rather make me wanna help them than catching my other kind of attention.

Ham is everywhere. Lean chunks and thick chunks. I avoid beaches whenever i can. They are just a big oven to me. Glazed ham confined in reflective walls, baking in hot air under glowing bars. My friends want to drag me there every single day. It seems that all international freshmen are desperate to get tanned, to get adopted faster by that new society where burned to a crisp is widely agreed on. Raw ham becoming cooked ham or roasted ham. Asians however seek the shadow. Elegant parasols, converted umbrellas and gigantic sunshades keep their melanin unprovoked in the dark. The way how their big, black eyes, emphasized by circular lenses, pierce through the pigmentless pale of their skin, gives them the slightly disturbing looks of androids.

On the beach one unflexible sequence dictates life: sunblock, sand, water, sand, sunblock, sand. I don’t last longer than 4 minutes from water to water. What an effort. It just scorches me dry and im boiling again, applying cancer repellent milk six times per hour. I am cooked ham of course, but unfortunately lobster is not a good look for me. I pray for freckles. Playing outside all day long i was drenched in them at a younger age. My arms are still sprinkled, but im waiting for more of the soft-brown spots to give depths to my face. I really hope my skin just needs more time to remember. I must face it, a decade of sole LCD exposure takes its toll.

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