I’ve always wanted to live somewhere sunny (“but not necessarily hot!” I would quip) because I reckoned life must look very different with eternal sunshine and perhaps I hankered after a slower pace of life. I think I must have been imagining a Caribbean island! In any case, here we are in the tropics and the weather does have quite an effect on you.
This morning at 7am it was 30C. That means that we are gearing up for hot season when temperatures will reach an average of 40C in the day. Of course you avoid going anywhere and doing anything in the middle of the day but what you don’t realise is that, in hot season, the temperature hardly drops at night. So we are averaging probably about 27C in the evenings and maybe as low as 22C in the early hours of the morning. The telltale sign is the pool which is easily warm bath temperature by the afternoon but still relatively cool and refreshing first thing. In May it will just be hot all the time. Crikey, I must be getting old, I’m noting actual temperatures!
What I hadn’t appreciated, even though we are now in our second hot season, is how impossible it is to be outdoors and how much I really, really want to be outdoors! We go from aircon house to aircon car to aircon shop/office and then only if we have to. Finding things to do for Alfie is hard. Thankfully he’s pretty worn out by nursery but the afternoons are either swimming or playdates – indoors. And having a pool on the threshold means it’s no longer that exciting to go swimming these days. There is the odd shopping centre which has an indoor play area but they are not always the easiest places to get to or to sit in, while your little angel runs around.
I also realised, while on holiday, that I can only take Oscar somewhere if I know I can get him cool again, if that makes sense. So we didn’t do an elephant safari in Thailand for example, because whilst Alfie and Daddy went off, there was nowhere cool for me and Oscar to sit and wait. And I was thinking of starting riding again, bringing Amber with me to hold Oscar while I have a lesson, but there is no air conditioning at the riding school so he would get too hot and I would only be able to cool him down in the car. We’ll have to wait with that one!
They say the heat saps 30% of your energy and it’s easy to forget that. I rarely walk anywhere except to an exercise class I have found nearby but I notice that I still walk twice as fast as anyone else. I do take an umbrella with me though; the locals are horrified if they see you walking in the sun without one. And I sweat. Boy, do I sweat. I think pretty much everyone is used to seeing me with my hair plastered to my head and a glistening face. Not a great party look, but there you go. (When breastfeeding it gets even worse as my boobs turn into Exocet Missiles and poor old Oscy practically has to swim for his breakfast sometimes.) I change my underwear at least twice a day and the only consolation is that in this heat, the washing dries instantly so filling up the washbasket doesn’t feel too extravagant. But more than anything I miss my walks. When Alfie was a baby I would put him in the pram and walk every day, even if it was just round the corner to the papershop. But often much longer, to parks and friends’ houses, to his swimming class which was a good 45 minutes away. Lots of times it was boring but at least it was freedom of a sort! Gazing up at blue skies and palm trees ain’t bad, but I can’t help feeling a bit cooped up and I’m longing for a bit of outdoor life.
3 thoughts on “Living in a Tropical Climate”
I remember the thudding heat of the tropics sweetie, think you need to fill the pool with ice cubes!! Here in Bristol it has been cold and rained every day for the last 6 weeks (well – nearly!), so I think if we blended our weather we’d both be happier. There is a Cotham reunion on Sat at the Highbury – don’t suppose you can pop over?!! Much Love
Hi Vicky Blades!
I’m a Londoner living in Seoul as a “trailing spouse” (some days I love that image of a graceful vine, some days I can’t bear the sense of passivity), and my hus has dropped a few outrageously obvious hints about a desire to move to Myanmar next. When we first moved to Asia, I was in a rush to get back home to my work trajectory, further study, family, and friends; but now I’m feeling a bit more receptive to change. We have a three year-old son, which makes the idea of staying abroad much easier than if he was older, but I still feel a bit selfish about my previous work as a drama therapist and latterly psychotherapist.
You’ve been incredibly generous with writing your blog, but I wonder if you would be able get in touch via email…
Hi Vicky. I’d like to email you about YEC and parenting for The Myanmar Times. Could you please get in touch? My email is jess.mudditt[at]gmail.com