Here in Tokyo the dog days of the pandemic summer are sweltering hot and extremely humid. Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued both heatstroke and high-temperature warnings Sunday as temperatures reached dangerous levels across the nation. Tokyo has seen average temperatures in the mid 90F/35C with humidity at 70-80% range.
Finding ways to deal with the heat, humidity, isolation and frustration of the pandemic summer has been quite a challenge.
Toma is dealing with the August weather by lying around, lethargic and sleepy. For myself and Keiko, our move into our new home corresponded with the beginning of summer has kept us very busy. Three weeks in, we are nearing completion of various furnishing and decoration projects and dealing with organization and storage realities that required a final round of scaling back personal clothing and goods to reflect available space and our actual needs for a comfortable Tokyo lifestyle.
With Keiko working from home, we have adapted well to the “new normal” and settled into a leisurely routine. Keiko, Toma and I generally take a short mid-day nap!
I have adopted a daily project work schedule that allowed me some time to relax and avoid potential heat stroke related problems. Toma and I take long walks at 5:00AM and 8:00PM and one or two other short outdoor visits to avoid the heat and humidity. I suspended my daily 3-mile health walks until the weather breaks, using alternative indoor exercise.
I look forward to the daily delivery of my newspapers, the English-language Japan Times and New York Times International Edition, and reserve time each day for the on-line offerings of The Atlantic. My Kindle app is a constant idle and bed time companion.
Our cable system gives me access to live CNN, BBC and CNBC news coverage that I’ll access each morning and as events warrant. NHK provides Japan news and interesting lifestyle and cultural features. Netflix is a useful occassional diversion; the Golf Channel and DAZN satisfies my sports appetite.
I also reserve early morning time each day for writing. Before the move, I focused on my “book project” and will need to re-start that activity once we are settled. More recently, I have tried to make regular contributions to my paulmyer.com blog as well as be a more consistent e-mail correspondent with family and friends.
Finally, I decided to spend time reviewing and organizing a lifetime’s worth of recipes stored in my Evernote app, an enjoyable project that is filled with so many reminders of happier times.
Since we use Oisix, a company that delivers us weekly organic and additive-free meal kits, I now generally only cook on the weekends. The meal service provides us a varied healthy Japanese diet with portion control and has actually saved us both shopping time and money. The recipe exercise has enabled me to focus on preparing some of our favorite dinners.
Finally, since I will soon finish the conversion of our second bedroom into a combination library-hobby workshop-“man cave” (with a storage loft), I look forward to further adapting my Tokyoite lifestyle routine to spend time with my RC collection.