Existential A/C in Suriname

Our cramped room has two temperature settings: Jungle Hot and Arctic Breeze. Either you turn the medieval air conditioning unit on, blasting cold air at full volume directly over the two narrow beds like a glacial gale, or you keep it off and let the hot, heavy jungle air envelop you in an oppressive sheen of moisture and sweat.

So the existential question of the night becomes: do you leave the AC unit off and endure the tropical jungle heat until you’re marinating in your own sweat on the bed like a human slip ‘n’ slide, despite air conditioning available right there, just a switch away?

Or do you turn it on and brave the cold wind from a unit that has all the silence of a farm tractor trudging uphill on a bad day, with no covers available and only a small thin bed sheet closer in size to a large napkin? Shivering in misery sounds ridiculous when the off switch is right there, just within reach.

Either way, the open air window offers zero barrier to the local mosquitoes, who are perfectly content to ride in to feast on either jungle or tundra setting.

The perfect answer, of course, is to do both. Every time I’d wake up, either sweltering or shivering, I’d reach up and turn the AC knob to the other setting, going back to sleep after casually scratching some of my latest mosquito bites. Until I woke up again to switch the knob back. Genius!

(Miscellaneous note: in the interest of full disclosure, Pascal is not a fan of my so-called “schizophrenic climate change strategy.” I believe his underappreciative and wholly unwarranted term for it was “sadistic.”)

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