Who is puzzled about what seems to be a worldwide obsession with air conditioning? The concept leaves me freezing and baffled with one burning question on my mind: Why?

I travel halfway around the world to Thailand to escape winter and frost, to revel in heat and sunshine, only to walk into the hotel lobby and be met by a staggering 15 degrees Celsius. Why?

People working the front desk are in full suits – shirts and jackets! Why? It is Thailand! It is supposed to be hot! 100 billion tourists cannot be wrong. (Okay, numbers are not my forte – this one has the sole purpose of figuratively illustrating ‘a lot’.) We all go to there because of the heat. Generally, worldwide, heat is pretty popular and in high demand. So why is it that every place where heat comes naturally, people are doing everything they can to cool it down – ironically spending lots of energy that in the end only helps increase global warming?

I moved to Los Angeles, abandoned my family and friends for California living and yes, the warm weather is a big part of that – when I can find it, that is. Because everywhere I go, they do their best to keep it at a mind-boggling sub-20 degrees Celsius.

In taxis – or any car, except my own, basically – I sit freezing on the backseat with clattering teeth, while the driver is wearing two shirts and a jacket. Why? Why not just dress for the weather you are actually in? Instead of changing the temperature, maybe just wear shorts?

The last time I flew in to Los Angeles, we were boarded on a bus to take us from the plane to the airport building. Landing in Los Angeles having flown from Mexico you would have never thought to pack winter clothes, but that was exactly what that bus ride required. The air conditioning was so aggressive I nearly had frostbite. “Welcome to Los Angeles!”

Why are people so obsessed with cold? Have they never experienced real winter? Do they think of winter as something to be taken lightly, something desirable, even? Take it from me, who grew up in Scandinavia, lived in Greenland for six months and has been travelling ever since to keep warm: cold is overrated – ask anybody who catches it!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine Ltd.’

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