Hey, Americans: Advice from Earth's heat experts

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2011 1:53 PM
Hey, Americans: Advice from Earth's heat experts

There are places in the world where no one would think of frying an egg on the sidewalk _ if only because there are few sidewalks, and eggs can be in short supply as well.

But heat? They've got plenty of that.

And they have plenty of advice for Americans who are wilting in a heat wave: Watch what you wear. Drink the right beverages. And if you can find a neem tree, camp out under it.

In the hot corners of the world, where temperatures like those that have bedeviled the American midsection and East Coast are so commonplace that they go unnoticed, correspondents for The Associated Press asked the locals how people in the United States should deal with the heat.

In Baghdad, where Friday's temperature was 111 and Saturday's forecast was even hotter, there were all sorts of suggestions:

"I advise Americans to have ice cream. There is no other way," said Latif Mahoud, 27, who is self-employed.

"They should stay in their underwear and wear shorts," said Abdul Samad Ali, a 46-year-old taxi driver.

Mostly, though, there was sense that when it comes to swelter, Americans are rank amateurs.

"I advise the American people to come to Iraq for a month in summer to understand a real heat wave," said Nabil al-Rubaei, a 33-year-old engineer who was standing on central Baghdad's Sadoun Street. "Then, when they go back home, they will consider their summer as winter in comparison."



"I know it's hard for Americans to bear the heat, but we are used to it. If you are asking me for advice, I say they should drink and eat stuff that helps the body to remain cool. We use yogurt and cucumber mostly in our lunch and we also use lemon soda and other things that help the body to remain strong so it can bear the heat."

_Zafar Aghan, 32, yogurt shop worker

"People should avoid moving around in the heat and they should take in more liquid like water and lemon soda. They should eat foods that are easy to metabolize because that just causes heat to be produced inside our bodies."

_Samiullah Jan, 26, student



"Drop your heavy, unnecessary clothes and dress lightly. But the most important thing is to try to stay under the shade as much as you can. Don't enjoy too much sun, or you'll find yourself dehydrated within a very short time. If you really have to stay out there, make sure you carry a bottle of water with you."

_ Duangkamon Kietsukasem, 26, government employee

"If you must walk out under the sun, wear a straw hat and put on more clothes. ... You have to learn how to deal with it. You have to live your life. If you're going to live a long one, you don't want to spend it worrying."

_ Somsak Kiatipanich, 68, businessman



"On the farm, when we want to take a break or have lunch, we use the shade of trees, and sit under them. ... The temperature under neem and citrus trees is much cooler, compared to the direct sun heat and waves blowing from the winds of the Sahara Desert."

_Babangida Audu, 56, farmer



--"When it is very hot here during dry seasons, we wear white clothes. White clothes reflect heat. We ensure that clothes are light. We also drink a lot of water and bathe a lot."

_Oketch Bitek, journalist



"Get everything you need to do done in the morning between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Then, during the hottest part of the day, rest at home. Make sure your home is well ventilated. Keep the windows open or, if you're rich, buy an air conditioner. ... It's good to wear a hat. In the Sahara we wear turbans. This is really the best as the moisture from your sweat gets locked in and keeps you cool. Maybe Americans don't want to wear turbans but they have nice big hats available there and that's good, too."

_Mohamed Alhassane ag Elmoctar, lives in Bamako, the capital, but is from the town of Timbuktu on the edge of the Sahara desert where he owns and runs a hotel



"The Americans should pour water on their heads from a hose so that their heat is reduced and they don't die."

--Malik al-Ghareeb, 25, fisherman



"Drink plenty of water _ but not sparkling water or soft drinks that contain a lot of sugar. If you really have to go out wear a hat and just cover small distances, or make sure you spend plenty of intervals indoors."

--Olymbia Doga, 38, nurse

"Keep the beer as near freezing as is humanly possible, and put plenty of ice in the martini. Just go easy on the vermouth."

--Babis Papaemmanouil, 22


Contributing to this report were AP writers Ahmed Sami Fattah and Saad Abdul-Kadir in Baghdad; Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Afghanistan; Njadvara Musa in Maiduguri, Nigeria; Martin Vogl in Bamako, Mali; Godfrey Olukya in Kampala, Uganda; Todd Pitman and Thanyarat Doksone in Bangkok, Thailand; and Nicholas Paphitis in Athens, Greece.