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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hey, Americans: Advice from Earth’s heat experts

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There are places in the world where no one would think of frying an

egg on the sidewalk – if only because there are few sidewalks, and

eggs can be in short supply as well.

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But heat? They’ve got plenty of that.

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And they have plenty of advice for Americans who are wilting in a

heat wave: Watch what you wear. Drink the right beverages. And if

you can find a neem tree, camp out under it.

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In the hot corners of the world, where temperatures like those that

have bedeviled the American midsection and East Coast are so

commonplace that they go unnoticed, correspondents for The

Associated Press asked the locals how people in the United States

should deal with the heat.

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In Baghdad, where Friday’s temperature was 111 and Saturday’s

forecast was even hotter, there were all sorts of

suggestions:

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“I advise Americans to have ice cream. There is no other way,” said

Latif Mahoud, 27, who is self-employed.

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“They should stay in their underwear and wear shorts,” said Abdul

Samad Ali, a 46-year-old taxi driver.

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Mostly, though, there was sense that when it comes to swelter,

Americans are rank amateurs.

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“I advise the American people to come to Iraq for a month in summer

to understand a real heat wave,” said Nabil al-Rubaei, a

33-year-old engineer who was standing on central Baghdad’s Sadoun

Street. “Then, when they go back home, they will consider their

summer as winter in comparison.”

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KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN:

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“I know it’s hard for Americans to bear the heat, but we are used

to it. If you are asking me for advice, I say they should drink and

eat stuff that helps the body to remain cool. We use yogurt and

cucumber mostly in our lunch and we also use lemon soda and other

things that help the body to remain strong so it can bear the

heat.”

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-Zafar Aghan, 32, yogurt shop worker

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“People should avoid moving around in the heat and they should take

in more liquid like water and lemon soda. They should eat foods

that are easy to metabolize because that just causes heat to be

produced inside our bodies.”

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-Samiullah Jan, 26, student

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BANGKOK, THAILAND:

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“Drop your heavy, unnecessary clothes and dress lightly. But the

most important thing is to try to stay under the shade as much as

you can. Don’t enjoy too much sun, or you’ll find yourself

dehydrated within a very short time. If you really have to stay out

there, make sure you carry a bottle of water with you.”

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– Duangkamon Kietsukasem, 26, government employee

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“If you must walk out under the sun, wear a straw hat and put on

more clothes. … You have to learn how to deal with it. You have

to live your life. If you’re going to live a long one, you don’t

want to spend it worrying.”

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– Somsak Kiatipanich, 68, businessman

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MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA:

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“On the farm, when we want to take a break or have lunch, we use

the shade of trees, and sit under them. … The temperature under

neem and citrus trees is much cooler, compared to the direct sun

heat and waves blowing from the winds of the Sahara

Desert.”

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-Babangida Audu, 56, farmer

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GULU DISTRICT, UGANDA:

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–“When it is very hot here during dry seasons, we wear white

clothes. White clothes reflect heat. We ensure that clothes are

light. We also drink a lot of water and bathe a lot.”

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-Oketch Bitek, journalist

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BAMAKO, MALI:

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“Get everything you need to do done in the morning between 8 a.m.

and 11 a.m. Then, during the hottest part of the day, rest at home.

Make sure your home is well ventilated. Keep the windows open or,

if you’re rich, buy an air conditioner. … It’s good to wear a

hat. In the Sahara we wear turbans. This is really the best as the

moisture from your sweat gets locked in and keeps you cool. Maybe

Americans don’t want to wear turbans but they have nice big hats

available there and that’s good, too.”

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-Mohamed Alhassane ag Elmoctar, lives in Bamako, the capital, but

is from the town of Timbuktu on the edge of the Sahara desert where

he owns and runs a hotel

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BAGHDAD, IRAQ:

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“The Americans should pour water on their heads from a hose so that

their heat is reduced and they don’t die.”

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–Malik al-Ghareeb, 25, fisherman

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ATHENS, GREECE:

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“Drink plenty of water – but not sparkling water or soft drinks

that contain a lot of sugar. If you really have to go out wear a

hat and just cover small distances, or make sure you spend plenty

of intervals indoors.”

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–Olymbia Doga, 38, nurse

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“Keep the beer as near freezing as is humanly possible, and put

plenty of ice in the martini. Just go easy on the

vermouth.”

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–Babis Papaemmanouil, 22

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Contributing to this report were AP writers Ahmed Sami Fattah and

Saad Abdul-Kadir in Baghdad; Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Afghanistan;

Njadvara Musa in Maiduguri, Nigeria; Martin Vogl in Bamako, Mali;

Godfrey Olukya in Kampala, Uganda; Todd Pitman and Thanyarat

Doksone in Bangkok, Thailand; and Nicholas Paphitis in Athens,

Greece.

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