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Staving off the heat

Updated: Aug 10






Key words and phrases:


stave off: avert, turn away from, avoid

a shout out: (informal) a quick expression of congratulations or recognition

understatement: expressing something in a way that makes it seems smaller than it really is

pledge: promise

get hot under the collar: to become angry

swelter: uncomfortably hot

crank up: dramatically increase the volume (i.e. music) or intensity (i.e. air conditioning)

staple diet: the foods that are part of one’s regular diet, the food eaten most often

gadget: a small mechanical or electronic device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one



Hello friends!


Let me start by giving a shout out to Canada. July 1 is Canada Day. Canada is now 155 years old. I can imagine friends and family sitting outside soaking up some sun or standing around the barbecue enjoying time together outside; a celebration of summer!


What about summer in Tokyo? Saying summer in Tokyo is a challenge is an understatement. However, I have made a pledge to myself that I will get through the summer heat and humidity without a single complaint. The theory is that complaining doesn’t help and it only leads to getting hot under the collar, so I will avoid it. How about others? I have asked Japanese and foreign friends in Japan how they deal with the summer swelter, other than cranking up the A/C. Here is what I learned:


Make Gari-Gari-Kun part of your staple diet. It’s low in calories and affordable. Somen is another summer treat that can keep you cool. Some have suggested gadgets like jackets with fans or battery-powered fans that can be worn around the neck. Others suggest eating only cold dishes like yoghurt for breakfast, salad for lunch or tofu for dinner. Still others suggest spicy foods to get all the sweat out so you can’t sweat anymore. Thai curry and ginger-based dishes were highly recommended. Taking regular cold showers was another idea, although some suggested a hot bath! It seems that everyone has a different way to survive the heat.


In the end, I guess the best solution is similar to that of any challenges we face in life. We can cope with it, escape it, or, embrace it. Cope with it means to deal with something that is difficult or unpleasant. Escape it, would mean moving to a cooler place like Hokkaido, but that seems extreme. Embrace it. Mmm…yes, that sounds right. Try some or all of the good ideas listed above and enjoy whatever summer brings. We all love challenges because they make us better and make us stronger, so let’s think of summer as just another challenge in life that we can and will overcome. Okay, I’m off to get a Gari-Gari kun from the freezer! Thanks for listening


Wishing you health and happiness always.


Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.

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