A heated mistake in a heated summer

It was when I was eight or nine years old. One summer, my mother and I were visiting my grandmother’s house, and one day, we needed to buy something for the house urgently. My eldest cousin was at home and she offered us a ride to a shopping mall near the train station.

It was an extremely hot day of August in Japan. The sun was blazing and the hot and humid air was filled with the thick sound of cicadas. As soon as we got on to my cousin’s white Toyota corolla, my cousin turned on the AC.

“It will soon cool down. Just a little bit more patience, everyone!”

My cousin reassured with a big smile as we started the engine.

The car started moving and a few minutes passed, but the air wasn’t getting any cooler. My mother said to my cousin that the AC wasn’t working well.

“Yeah, it’s taking longer today. But don’t worry, it will be better soon.”

My cousin was confident. After a while, everybody in the car started steaming. I looked out of the window, and thought even the outside looked cooler than inside the car.

“Shall we open the window?”

I suggested. But my cousin had full faith in her AC.

“Let’s not! For sure, we’re better off than outside!”

Thus, we completed our most steaming 10 minutes drive to the shopping mall. As my cousin parked the car and stopped the engine, we all heaved a sigh of relief. Then we heard my cousin’s surprised voice.

“OMG! The heating was on!!”

There was a brief silence of disbelief, then everybody burst into laughter. For all this while, we were driving under the blazing sun with the maximum heating on.

“That’s why we were steaming! Thank you, the mystery is finally solved!”

said my mother as we all got off the steaming car into the hot summer air, which was now a welcome cool breeze.