Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Atlanta Chronicles

Having just moved to a new city, it seems fitting that I would document my acclimatization to that city. While some people are well versed in cross-continental moves, it is a wholly new experience for me. Of my near 28 years of existence, 18 of them were lived in the same house. And until three weeks ago, I had never changed cities. So, although my readers may not be interested in Atlanta per se, it seems pertinent to catalog an event as monumental as my moving across the country. And so begin The Atlanta Chronicles…

In this first edition of TAC, I shall address the subject of the weather. A hackneyed topic of conversation to be sure, but one cannot speak of comfort zones—nor the breaking through thereof—without confronting something so rudimentary. Atlanta has proven to be no exception. It’s humid. Very humid. And this is something I’m still adapting to. Whenever I step outside, it feels as though I’ve entered a sauna. Oddly enough, I find it cooler here than in Salt Lake City, but the moisture makes the air thick and unpleasant. On a handful of occasions, I have gotten out of a nice, air-conditioned car only to have my eyeglasses immediately fog up, which can be quite a nuisance. Furthermore, I feel like I’m sweating a great deal more than I did in SLC. But does this make sense? Intuition suggests that heat would influence sweating more than humidity would, but Atlanta seems to prove otherwise. If you’re scientifically inclined, please feel free to enlighten me.

Apart from the extreme humidity, Atlanta has also introduced me to severe thunderstorms. Now, the meteorologists in Utah were known to issue severe thunderstorm warnings from time to time, but they apparently have quite a different conception of the word “severe” than Atlantans do. The best way I can describe the Georgian thunderstorms I’ve experienced thus far is to say this: imagine the sound of empty freight train cars dropping from the sky. Going for accuracy over poetry, I do believe this captures the essence of it. The disappointing thing is that, when the sky goes gray and the rain begins to fall, my brain is accustomed to expect a crisp, cool breeze when I walk outside. But it remains muggy, and then I feel gypped. Looking at it from behind your living room window, Atlanta does a pretty good job of emulating Seattle. Stick your head outside and it’s a brutal reminder that you’re far from the Pacific Northwest.

Luckily, our apartment has central air. The outside world has little bearing on how comfortable we feel inside our home. Prior to the move, I mentioned this as a key incentive to embarking on this adventure. Now that I’m here, I’m all the more convinced that central air alone has made the move worthwhile.

4 comments:

  1. Well I am not very scientifically minded but I do believe that in low humidity situations the sweat evaporates quicker thus your natural "air conditioning" works much better in low humidity situations. In high humidity it takes more sweat to cool your body as it doesn't evaporate as efficiently. Hence the reason that "swamp" coolers (or evaporative coolers) work well in Utah but are not even heard of in areas of high humidity. It simply would not work. Blah blah blah. I am very glad to hear that you have a nice place to live and are getting along quite well. Keep up the TAC so all of us can live our adventures through you.

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  3. I had a similar adjustment when I went to England. It's a notoriously damp place, far more humid than Utah. Come to think of it, Utah is the least humid place I've ever been.

    Even here in LA, I notice the difference. There are several weeks every year when the entire city is covered in fog. In Utah, Sarah's hair was almost perfectly straight. Here, the humidity makes it all wavy and curly.

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  4. I'm glad to see you logging (or blogging) your adventure. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers!

    We love ya!

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