Living in tropical climes
Anyone who has ever been forced to listen to my complaints about being cold in Canberra (approximately 90% of the year) will be pleased to know that I really, really prefer being stinky hot to freezing cold. It’s not that I don’t collapse, a gasping, wet rag of a person, onto my bed after a half hour jaunt in the afternoon sun. It’s just that I find it easier to deal with the fact that it’s hot and I’m sweaty and hot, and that I also find it easier to recover. Wear a (proper) hat, wear sunnies, wear long cotton clothing. Don’t go out in the sun if you can avoid it. When I do have to go out in the sun, I know if I just get home and lie still for a bit, I’ll cool down. When it’s too hot to go out, I don’t feel trapped in my room, like I do when it’s cold (I mean Canberra cold – when you know it’s 10 degrees outside at 2pm in the afternoon and that’s without windchill). I know I can go out for a walk in the morning when it’s coolest and escape to the office or have a nap at home in the hottest part of the day.
When I am cold in winter (the 9 month winter of Canberra), people always say ‘But you can put more clothes on and get warm!’ I don’t know how many times I have tried to explain. I Can’t Get Warm If I Am Cold. No, Really. There are two ways I can get warm if I am cold: get into bed or have a shower. Since I can’t do this at work, or wear a blanket to do everything, I stay cold. And cranky. And unable to think properly. I would wear a blanket everywhere if I could, it would definitely help, but for some reason it’s frowned upon in the public service. I don’t know why. I would certainly be able to concentrate a lot better in the arctic airconditioning.
When I commented at language classes the other day that the weather that day was the reason I came to Dili (it was less humid than it had been, just a pleasant hot day), people laughed sadly at me. ‘Oh it’s just not like this, it’s always humid’ they said. Well, I don’t love humidity, but honestly I don’t mind.