I’m sitting in my room…air-conditioning on, plus a separate fan set to the highest level. As soon as I open my door to the hallway, I will cross instantly from the cool crisp air of my room to the hot, thick, humid air of Thailand. It’s 31.3 C (89.3 F) outside with relative humidity of 69%. There are also thunderstorms predicted everyday for the next week, but the last thunderstorm lasted about 30 minutes, so it won’t keep me from going outside.
My dad says it can take 3-4 weeks to acclimate to the weather. I hope I acclimate quicker because the air is sometimes hard to breath. In America, it would be especially hard to adjust to such hot weather because the lifestyle doesn’t…match. However, it is really awesome to see how Thai life suits the hot weather. People generally move slower here. When we eat, we sit down for a longer time, and we talk. There is more resting, and there are lots of cold drinks and desserts that you can buy at vendors to cool you down even more.
As part of orientation, I was told that there is an expectation of cleanliness, and that you might have to take showers 2-3 times a day and change clothes just as often. I was shocked: “How on earth does anyone have time for that?! And what if my house doesn’t have hot water? I ONLY take hot showers. How many clothes do I need to get to last me 2-3 outfits per day?!” Then I arrived in Thailand and the first thing I wanted to do was take a cold shower. In the past 3 days that I have been here, I have taken 3 cold showers per day, and have changed outfits as often. In fact, it’s one of my favorite parts of the day…stepping into the cool water and immediately feeling relief from the heat of the day. Now, I wish the water was even colder. Maybe I’ll start showering with ice cubes….
Another suggestion made during orientation was to use baby powder instead of typical deodorant or antiperspirant. The thing is…I don’t want to smell like a baby, even if the baby is clean and dry, there’s something weird about an adult smelling like a baby powder, right? BUT, I decided to give it a try anyway. I bought this cute little bottle of Johnson and Johnson’s blue baby powder. It’s like magic! I love this stuff, and I may even use it once I get back to the States too. I rub all over my torso, under my arms, on the back of my neck, and even some on my face. I don’t use a lot, so it doesn’t make me look pale. It makes my skin soft and dry, and it doesn’t smell like typical baby powder. In fact, I love the smell. It reminds me of when I was little and living in Thailand. I remember being younger than 7, standing in my room, wearing nothing but my undies, and my mom or one of my child-care workers pouring loads of baby powder all over me. How could I forget?!
Note to self: in addition to the multitude of things a TCK must adjust to when they move is temperature differences.
I’ll give you more updates as time goes on. Still adjusting to jet lag here.