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That night after a beautiful dinner, I went to bed, completely exhausted. Before I could finally get a good nights sleep, my friend was as kind as to show me how to use the air condition. She put a very pleasant 22 degrees celcius in and a timer for two more hours. She said it’d be fine, she always does it like this.
You see. It kind of wasn’t fine, as I would find out about four hours later and looking back, ‘just paying attention’ wasn’t the way to go. I should’ve put stickers on that remote thing or written a note next to it or something… just something…
Because in the middle of the night, those four hours later, I woke up covered in sweat opening the mosquito net to grab that remote and looking at this thing … I remembered nothing. Blank. Nada.
I tried frantically to concentrate on recollecting my tiny tiny bit of knowlege on where the timer was and the ‘on’ button to get the air condition started again, because it had completely turned off and it was freaking hot in here.
Then, yes! I found the timer, the only symbol that made sense to me, well apart from the two arrows up and down. Problem was, there were two sets of them, one of the outside and one when you flipped that thing open.
Think, think, I told myself. It can’t be that hard. Okay, easy questions first: which one is the on button? The grey or the white one? And probably that red one down there stands for heat and the blue one for cold? That seems fair, right?
This can’t be that hard! I thought.
So actually believing I had this thing figured out, I started to press buttons and sure enough that thing in the corner started to make buzzing sounds.
I was relieved.
I switched off the light and my last thought was: yes, I did it! It will get colder now, sleep here I comeeee! Thank you, universe!
Well that was the last thought before opening my eyes again about 20 minutes later. Slowly but surely, it started to feel like a sauna in this room with no prospect of a cold pool to jump into afterwards.
I switched the light on again, sighed deeply and wondered if I was going crazy or if indeed it had gotten even warmer!
A few minutes later, I’m telling you I was losing my mind. I started to believe I had pressed to wrong button and looking at the remote again, I believed I did…. so I started zapping again. True, not the best choice. But at this point I was so desperate, because I was still sweating and it didn’t seem like it would get any cooler soon.
Suddenly, it stopped buzzing. Finally! No more heating.
I mean it was still so so hot in there and outside as well, so opening a window would only be an invitation of mosquitos. Right then and there, I swore a holy oath to myself never to touch that remote again without supervision of a native. Oh and timers. Not going to happen again. Just lemme keep those 22 degrees in all night.
Looking back, I really don’t know how, but I reckon I was so fatigued at this point that I actually slept for a few hours at a time, although it felt like I was only tossing and turning with those symbols haunting me. Waiting for an unconscious flash of memory. It was like there were hovering above my head in that dim lighting through the balcony door, keeping me from sleeping.
But I know for sure that I slept a little, because I got woken up and that sure enough I was absolutely drenched in sweat. And not exactly ready to admit that those chinese symbols drove me crazy and I practically forgot everything about that beautiful instruction to the air condition.
That night sure took it’s toll on me the next day… but for that story stay tuned.