Every summer, without fail, Egypt experiences a horrid heatwave (blame global warming). The whole country basically turns into a giant hair dryer. While some of of us are lucky enough to be able to escape to the beach or to air-conditioned houses, we know all too well that roads can be shut down and the electricity can cut off – really often. Fear not, sweat-soaked Egyptians, we really get you & we’ve got a few tried-and-tested tips to help you survive.
Keep Hydrated, Dumbasses
It’s hot? Drink water. This is heat-survival 101. Keeping adequate levels of hydration is essential – have a large bottle of cold water on hand to escape the heat and humidity. It doesn’t matter that you’re ‘not thirsty’ – you know what’s no fun? Sunstrokes.
Take a Shower
Cairo is dirty enough that you really should shower every time you go outside – beyond making you a little bit less disgusting and rinsing off the sweat and torab, it cools you the fuck down. Rule of thumb: try and shower as often as Rihanna changes her hair colour. Is the power off? Shower in the dark and prepare yourself for the inevitable apocalypse.
Get Friendly with the Freezer
This does not mean that you should make out with it – countless tongue-on-ice stories teach you that this is, in fact, an idea of epically stupid proportions. Soak towels in water and stick them in the freezer; great to take out when – inevitably – el kahraba betet2ete3 wel takeef beybooz. Put it on your face or something.
Grab a Spray-Bottle
You know those things people use to iron clothes? Imagine that you are the clothes. More cooling than a fan, it makes the most sense to stick this in the fridge too. Forget perfume, it’s all about spritzing yourself with cold tap water this summer.
Commonly known as Ma7loul el Gafaf, and available in any pharmacy, Rehydran is used to prevent or correct electrolyte imbalance, as well as replenish lost fluids in cases of acute dehydration. What does this mean? You’re far less likely to find yourself being fanned in an ambulance if you use this regularly. Literally, bey7el el gafaf. (Clever, yeah?)
‘Healthy’ Tip: Even though it tastes like shit, we advise stirring it in with a spoonful of Tang or Kool-Aid, unless, you know, you like that chemical after-taste.
Eat High Water-Content Food
Your body needs water. Eat food with water in it. Think watermelons, cantaloupes, grapes, cucumbers, and tomatoes – they contain 90%+ water-content by weight. Stay away from high-protein meals which will make you both queasy and uneasy in this heat.
No Caffeine and Alcohol
While an iced coffee or a cold beer sound like the perfect thing to replenish your thirst, they’re big no-nos. Caffeine and alcohol suck all the moisture out of your interior, making you more vulnerable to thirst and dehydration. (Full disclosure: we plan on completely ignoring this particular piece of advice)
Crank up the Fans
If you’re not in air-conditioned area, electronic and ceiling fans are the next best thing – promoting air circulation throughout your space. Start them up early in the day BEFORE it gets hot. If you’re on the go, buying a portable electronic fan will make you look like a douchebag, but that’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of not boiling on the inside.
Minimize Use of Lights and Heating Appliances
It’s advisable to switch to fluorescent and LED lights during the summer as they emit less heat. Obviously, don’t use hair-straighteners or dryers. If you have to use the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer, use them at night or early in the morning.
Keep Your Car Cool
Getting in your car in the summer can be a bitch – especially if you’d parked in the sun. There are a few ways to keep it cool: use a sunshade or window visor, dash cover or at least put a towel over the steering wheel. Worst comes to worst, just park a bit further from your destination to get some of that good shade.