There are a few ways to keep cool in hot weather. In the west, we wear shorts, drink cold drinks, and blast the A/C. In Niger, they use a completely different set of tricks. The polar opposite, in fact.
For starers, they cover up. Believe it or not, wearing long layers made of lightweight cotton keeps the sun’s hot rays off your skin. The flowing movement of the fabric acts like natural air conditioning.
The elephants accomplish the same thing by dusting themselves with dirt. Not quite as desirable if you have somewhere nice to go.
There’s one other trick to staying cool in Niger.
Drinking hot tea. While it sounds like it’d make an already hot day feel like an inferno, it is the opposite. The hot liquid makes you perspire… and the tiny beads of sweat catch the slightest breeze, cooling you off. That’s what our tour guide in Tunisia told me, anyway (they do the same thing all over North Africa).
Yes, we rather love this new sage sipper.
Mr Picky’s thoughts?
“Just don’t burn your lips.”
There’s not much to this fragrant tea. Here’s what I combined:
2 tsp green tea
2 1/2 cups simmering water
6-9 fresh sage leaves
sugar, to taste (the more the better)
Let all ingredients steep together for 4-5 minutes. Serve in small glass teacups from your local Middle Eastern market. Enjoy this warm glass love!