Growing up on the Canadian prairies, summers were hot and dry. You could walk outside and feel the heat upon you, but it didn't weigh on you. When the weather did get muggy, there was generally a storm on the way to provide a break in the weather and cool things down. Until a few years ago, that was the only kind of hot weather that I had ever known.
One of the best features of my car, known affectionately as the "Nukmobile" because of its metric tendencies or the "Puppy Hauler" because of its frequent trips to the dog park, is its heating and cooling systems. On a -30C day, my car can heat up in mere minutes, stopping one's teeth from chattering. Likewise on a 30C day, it can cool down in mere seconds, leaving one shivering. In fact, the air conditioner works so well, that a layer of frost will sometimes form on the dash, obscuring the numbers on the speedometer. As such, friends are well aware that a trip in the Nukmobile during the summer months generally requires a pair of socks with their sandals and even a sweater.
Sweater, shorts, socks, and sandals. That was my wardrobe when I stepped out of my car for the first time as we traveled from Saskatchewan down to the southern United States. We were in Missouri and it was hot. Not dry hot. Not hot hot. Wet
hot. The kind of sticky heat that weighs on your skin, steals your breath, and makes you feel dirty.
There stood the Canadian dressed in what could well be considered the oxymoron of clothing, pumping gas and melting into the pavement in the Missouri heat.