Originally posted on When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene:

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 8 April 2012

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Now we’re feeling the heat – literally.

The period from February to May is the hottest time of the year for most parts of Sri Lanka, with average day-time temperatures hovering around 31 degrees Centigrade (C). The peak for specific locations can be higher.

True, the extremes that our mercury rises to (36 in Colombo, or 40 in Vavuniya) are still a good 10 degrees cooler than what Indians endure for weeks every summer. But we islanders like our creature comforts: fans and airconditioners (ACs) come to our rescue.

Half of all households in Sri Lanka have at least one electric fan, according to Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2009/10, conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics. It’s the commonest domestic electrical item, followed by sewing machines, refrigerators and washing…

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