I landed in Mumbai, India, two days ago to start work in the Department of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Reserve Bank of India. I noticed two things straight away:
1) Everyone calls everyone senior "sir" or "madam" in the business world. This is remarkably different than the first name basis the financial district is on in the United States.
2) It's "hella" hot and humid. Monsoon season is about to start. I've noticed the clear lull the hot temperature and high humidity creates in the workplace; productivity is lower and people find ways to pass time while sitting in front of their fans. An AC bus costs 4 times as much as a non-AC bus. If an AC is switched off in a small bedroom after being on for hours, it will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes for the room to be sweltering. Again.
It looks like the weather isn't just a nuisance. It's deadly.
"Since January this year 6,300 malaria cases have been reported, an increase of nearly 47 per cent from 2,300 cases in the corresponding period last year," Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Assistant Health Officer K.M. Hargoli said. The rise in malaria cases is mainly due to the large number of construction projects, the high humidity levels and the soaring temperatures.
It never to ceases to amaze me how so many people can live in a city so hot. For that city to be the most populated in a country AND the financial capital: incredible. In my next entry, I will be doing a comparative analysis of the most populated cities and their climates. But for now, an interesting excerpt from a paper published by the University College London last month on climate change:
"13 of the world's 20 largest cities are on the coast, and sea levels are predicted to rise from between half to 1.2 metres over the next 100 years."
Imagine a heat wave AND higher sea levels. That could be catastrophic.