Where’s the SPF 1000

I have this distinct memory of the hottest I have ever been.  I am 19, and it’s the middle of summer in Georgia. That means it’s 98 degrees fahrenheit with 99 percent humidity. There’s not one cloud in the sky, and I am trapped in my car at a stop light, the sun mercilessly beating down on me. All four windows are down, but there is no breeze.  My car’s air conditioning has been broken for years and my back is stuck to the leather seat. The red light seems to last forever as I drip sweat. I felt like a chicken cooking in the oven.

Cue to 6 years later. It’s 10am, and I am walking around Angkor wat. Even though most of the tour has been in the shade my entire shirt is soaking wet with sweat. This is not an understatement. When I got back to the hotel I had to wring it out, and it was still damp a day later. As I walk around the compound, instead of admiring the spectacular buildings, all I can think about is that 3 minute moment in my car and how right now is 1000 times worse.











The sun is so intense on this side of the world I can feel my skin burning in direct sunlight. Maybe this is where the idea of Vampirism originated: The moment Europeans popped up on this side of the world and had to battle this sunlight. It’s brutal.

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