Villa Fever

Back at home (Boston, MA USA) we call it Cabin Fever in the winter time. The temperatures dip well below freezing and with the chill, few people really want to be walking around outside – especially downtown where the wind comes whipping down the streets and around the corners and cuts into your skin like little knives. When it snows, sure it looks pretty at first, but then it turns to a black slush and the side walks ice over making walking treacherous for everyone. So staying inside is often the best and safest thing to do, but it becomes a bit much.

You start to long for the fresh air, even though it is beyond cold. You want to go for a walk outside to get some exercise – treadmills are sometimes just not enough. Skiing is an option, but I have undergone four knee surgeries from a skiing accident I had some years ago – I really don’t care if I ever ski again. So winters are really not my thing.

I heard that summers in Abu Dhabi are like winters in Boston – you are stuck inside and start going crazy because you want to be outside. It is true. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, gentle breezes go through the date palm trees, but with the humidity the heat index is above 130F (or around 55C). Instead of snow blowing across the roads, sands blows across the roads, and there are people who keep it from building up on the roads and highways. Instead of snow blowers, there are sand blowers, and people shovel sand, not snow…you get the picture, right?

Since there are no cabins here, and villas stand almost everywhere you look – I am going to call it Villa Fever: the sense of being cooped up in one’s villas under extreme air-conditioning watching dates fall from trees, and not being able to go outside due to intense heat.

On Saturday, I was done. Finished with being inside, so I braved the heat, the humidity, and the blazing sun. I went for a 4.5 mile walk in our neighborhood. I should have gone earlier than 9:00 (5:00am would have made more sense) but the effects of being indoors for most of the day every day had settled in. Sure, I got looks from people – mostly the workers who were probably wondering why anyone would willingly be out in the heat. But to sweat, outside, in the fresh air, well it felt amazing (even though I needed to take a nap at 11:30am that day for a few hours…)



  • Melanie
    August 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    You are very brave. I would have melted in the first few minutes and run into the house looking for a glass of water. I am surprised about the humidity; I would have thought it was very dry in the desert. Things you learn…

    • Lily
      August 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

      It is REALLY humid – desert yes, but the water is also here (the Gulf) so the nights are incredibly humid. I suppose you get the best of both???


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