I wore a T-shirt to church today because my favorite UNIQLO collared shirt stuck to my back almost as soon as I put it on.
Is this what you call an Indian summer? More like a barbeque summer. I feel like a hunk of dripping flesh being spit-roasted and slathered with sticky globs of sweat and dust. Or since today is the Lord’s day, I should say I feel like Jonah in the belly a whale—a whale that has been stuck among coals for BBQ, that is.
The Olaskys don’t have air-conditioning in their house, so at all times, about six fans blast humid, lukewarm air at our steaming bodies. And then this morning, I found out my church don’t have air-conditioning either.
Coffee no longer lifts my mood in the morning because its temperature matches my body’s: hot, hot, hot. My mind feels dull and sluggish; afternoon naps only make me feel as if my head have been walloped with a baseball bat. As I’m typing this, my wrists are sticking to the armrest of my Macbook, creating two sticky, pale imprints.
Yes, I spent three paragraphs bitching about the hot summer because that’s everything in my scorched mind right now. I had to laugh when my friend Kim posted this picture on Facebook though:
(Picture credit to humor train)
Church today was a sweaty affair. I had deserted the Olaskys and Chelsea to visit a different church, because it’s not often I get the chance to go church-hopping. I attended Summit Church, a Christian evangelical church in downtown Asheville, which I found is located directly across my favorite thrift store.
Everybody’s face was gleaming from sweat; nobody wore collars or ties. The free coffee out in the lobby was mostly left untouched, and the donuts sat congealing in its syrup-y glaze.
The pastor, Chad McPhatter, sat on a high chair for the majority of his hour-long sermon. Maybe that’s just the way he preaches. Or maybe it’s because he’s so whammed by the heat that he needs to conserve every energy he has.
I couldn’t help letting my mind wander a bit into a stupid daze as I sat at the middle pew next to a nice girl named Lisa. My thin Aeropostale T-shirt was already starting to feel damp and clammy. My stomach felt bloated, as though all the organs in my upper body had expanded from the heat.
To keep myself from dozing off, I observed the congregants’ fashion. I noticed something about Asheville dress code: everybody dresses casual, even the pastor, who wore a sky blue polo shirt and jeans. Actually, I might even have overdressed in a T-shirt, red pants, gold belt and gold boat shoes. Last Sunday, I even spotted two guys in Hawaiian shirts, khakis and muddy hiking boots. In church! On a Sunday service! I was flabbergasted, but mostly, incredibly amused.
Asheville to me is like a giant, self-regulated 1970s college campus. People here walk and smile with a spirit that exudes individuality and a love for freedom. Tattoos seem to be a typical permanent fashion here; so are long hippie skirts and unshaved armpits.
In Asheville’s bookstore cafes, you’ll see WASPs drinking drip coffee next to a gang of cape-wearing cultish kids; even in religious services, the young, hip Summit Church shares a beautiful chapel with another church attended by old retirees with walking sticks.
I don’t know what the point of all these mumblings are, except to organize the snapshots I’ve glimpsed of Asheville. What a strange, curious city, so unlike any other I’ve ever visited.
Besides taking multiple showers and doing WORLD Magazine-related work, Chelsea, Tiffany Owens (a full-time WORLD reporter who is temporarily living with us) and I have explored bits and bites of Asheville. I haven’t introduced you to Tiffany yet, so say hello to this cute, perky young lady:
Tiffany is a froyo fan, but unfortunately, we discovered that Asheville is too cool to follow rubbish fads like frozen yogurt. Tiffany, relentless, found a place we could visit though, so we one night drove down to YoLo, a premium self-serve yogurteria that is set up very much like Yogurtland.
YoLo = Yogurt that is Local? Or Yogurt Low-calories?
Another thing about Asheville I forgot to mention: the art.
Wherever you go, you’ll spot quirky pieces of art, probably by local artists. The Olaskys’ house is like a mini-museum, what with its handmade pottery pieces, giant portraits and paintings. Being in this artistic city inspires me to get interested in art again.
One thing different about YoLo from Yogurtland is that they serve waffle cones! Ah, that takes me back to my high school days when I got paid $5.50/hour baking waffles at Cold Stones Creamery. I remember sneaking pieces of yellow cake and gummy bears into my mouth while I worked. A lady complained and I almost got in trouble.
YoLo’s range of toppings are freaking fantastic. They offer the usual toppings like fruits and gummies and chocolate chips, but they also offer banana walnut cookies, huge chunks of cookie dough, and even mango popping boba!!
If you don’t know what boba is, it’s tapioca balls that are boiled until large and chewy. Popping bobas, on the other hand, are injected with some kind of liquid (in YoLo’s case, mango juice or something) so that when you bite on it, it goes pop! and the liquid flows out of the thin translucent shell.
Check out my sugar bowl:
See the bright orange balls? That’s what I’m talking about. I puffed up my chocolate, French vanilla and birthday cake frozen yogurt with whipped cream. There are also gummy worms, pecan brittle, cookie dough, chocolate-covered peanuts, Reeses pieces, Nutter Butter, blueberries, jelly beans and sliced almonds in there. I went crazy with the toppings, as you can see.
So, the conclusion of this froyo trip: frozen yogurt is not Asheville’s strong point. Though the topping options were wonderful, the flavor options are scarce. But worst of all, the yogurt itself…sucked. It was icy, as though the churning machine spazzed out mid-way. Nothing worse than an icy frozen yogurt. But meh, that’s what you get with froyo. I have a certain famous ice creamery in mind that I desperately want to visit. Froyo ain’t the best representative of icy treats, anyway.
This post has absolutely no point. I just wanted to bitch about the heat and somehow it turned into a stream of pointless blabber and some random shots of frozen yogurt.
By the way, I still did pay attention in church. The pastor started tearing up and I snapped back to the sermon after that and left feeling spiritually invigorated. (Had to add this truth in just in case my parents are reading this and are tutt-ing away…)
Question of the Day: Other than skinny-dipping into a pool of ice, how do you keep cool without a/c?! I’m drinking a lot of ice water, but the annoying consequence of that is the frequent bathroom trips…