We are almost up to the present, at least as far as Brazil posts go. I figure once I get caught up here I can start to tackle the many adventurous days in Greece.

Going from fall to spring to summer and then to winter in the matter of a month is quite an interesting experience, and one that I would not highly recommend as it is likely, that like me, by the end you will be feeling a bit under the weather (pun absolutely intended). Especially given that this type of transition also involves spending hours on airplanes with their dry, recycled air and changing time zones more than once.

To recap, I left Brazil in fall on June 12th arriving in Chicago the next morning and in spring. A few days later I headed to Greece, still spring though quite a bit warmer as it had gotten to 40 (yes that’s in C) that day. While in Greece, spring turned into summer and that was the season du jour when I arrived back in Chicago on July 1st. Then there was a short jaunt to California, little change in seasons and time but more airplane air. Finally I headed back to Brazil on July 11th leaving summer to wind up in winter the next day.

And what makes things even worse is that the heating and insulation here are just not that good, so even if it is around 10 C outside it can be quite chilly inside, so much in fact that in our office folks have been having to leave their coats on and wear gloves. Now considering that we all work on computers all day long you can only imagine the challenge of working wearing gloves.

I can sort of understand the lack of infrastructure for heat since it is really only cold for a few weeks each year. What makes less sense to me, at least in new buildings being built is the lack of the use of insulation. This is the same thinking that one sees in central and southern California where buildings are built without any insulation since it doesn’t get that cold. Somehow the fact that insulation can keep it cooler in the summer, which here can reach 40 C, is either not realized or just ignored.

On top of this, many of the building don’t have ventilation systems, so to keep the air moving, the windows are left open. Imagine needing to use the restroom when it is less than 10 and there is a breeze coming in from outside.

At least in my apartment I can choose to keep the windows shut, well generally. There was one day that I couldn’t figure out why the bedroom area was just not heating up the way it normally did when I had the heater on full blast in the living area. It wasn’t until I suffered through a chilly night of unrest and awoke to more traffic sounds than usual that I realized that the maid had not only opened the bedroom window when she had cleaned the day before, she left it wide open. It was hard to notice this the night before as both the blinds and the drapes had been drawn tight. Thankfully it wasn’t a rainy night or my room might have gotten wet in addition to cold despite the shutters.

I felt bad, as I didn’t want to get her in trouble, but I had to say something to the folks at the front desk to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. I don’t care if she opens it while she is cleaning, but please close it before leaving, especially since some nights I don’t get home from work until around 10:30 at night by which time the temperature has dropped close to the overnight low.

Over the weekend, a few of us went to one of the malls where I thought about buying a few more warm clothing items, or maybe a pair of fingerless gloves. In the end I didn’t buy anything as I really don’t need more warm stuff in general, and clothes here are actually quite expensive.

Work wise, things are going well. I am getting back into the groove of things, running sessions and thinking about the long term plans for training and career development for the office.

I have also started attending Portuguese lessons in the office. We are planning on having someone on site twice a week for an hour each time to get us a bit more of a working knowledge of the language. I wish we would have started this three months ago, but at least now it has become a reality.