The average temperature in Thailand is hot with a side of sticky humidity. That’s what all the guidebooks tell you and when I first arrived in country, I definitely agreed. It’s amazing how much climate impacts a culture and the personalities of the people living there. Before I came to Thailand, my perfect day was sunny with minimal cloud cover and a general distaste for rain. Now it’s quite the opposite.
Sixteen months ago when we arrived as the fresh-faced Trainees that we were, I couldn’t believe it was considered ‘cold’ season. How could it be, it was still hot! This led me down thought ruminations of a sort of what the hell am I going to do when it’s hot season?!
We got to hot season and guess what? It was still hot. Maybe a little hotter than before, but the only difference I really felt was at night when it remained the same temperature as daylight hours until about 2am when it dropped two degrees and I could manage some semblance of sleep. My fan remained on the highest level constantly pointed directly at me. If you need a good explanation of ‘heat indications’ for Volunteers in Thailand, Jeffrey wrote a blog titled just that.
This continued through rainy season until the days of downpours arrived and when the storm started you could feel drops of five to ten degrees. To me, it made life more comfortable and I could sleep at night with things actually touching my body. This was the Thai reaction.
I wasn’t exactly the fan of rainy season that some of my PC friends were, but we had settled in a companionable rhythm. I thought this was as good as it could get, not quite drenched in dripping sweat and sleeping through the night with a light covering. And then cold season came through and I fell head over heels.
Cold season came breezing into town and capturing my attention. At first I tried to deny it. It was a foolish endeavor and not one I plan to repeat. It was glorious. I came home from my October vacation and within a few weeks, I was wearing sweaters, my hair down, and hats with the best of them. It was then I realized how much of a cold weather pussy I had become. I mean, that shit was teeth chattering, swath myself in a blanket to eat breakfast, and shiver cold. We’re talking mid-sixties, low seventies here. I told you I was a pussy.
Now that I’ve survived another hot season, I couldn’t help but notice how much harder I took it this time around. Look back through any posts through April/May and I was pretty much a zombie lacking motivation for anything. The only explanation I could come up with was that because cold season actually felt truly cold to me, hot season hit me so much harder this year. I’m noticing the trend continuing with the turn of rainy season.
With the overcast days and sporadic storms starting, I feel the chill in the air with the breeze. Outside of battling with the huge influx of bug population, rainy season and I are back together for the long-term. At least until next November when I probably will cheat on the lovely rain again.
It’s taken me sixteen months to notice and appreciate the slight differences of hot and what seasons are like in Thailand. Though I wouldn’t put it in the same ballpark as autumn (sigh) and the gang we enjoy in the non-jungle part of the world, it’s not one block of sticky heat like I once thought. I’m surprised and pleased that Thailand still has quite a lot to teach me.