If you’ve ever been to Malaysia, Thailand, India… hell, anywhere within cooee of the equator, you will know that the tropics are no. joke. Seriously, they take no mercy but will instead take all your dignity when it comes to personal hygiene. Trust me, I’ve learnt this the hard way, and today I want to talk you through my experiences with managing the soaring temperatures, and what I’m doing about it (perhaps in vain…?) to be a cleaner, more socially acceptable person.
First off, let me just say: it ain’t easy.
This kind of weather is the sort that can be described as “muggy”, “humid” and also, my personal favourite, “cloying”. It’s the kind of heat that you can feel sticking all over your body – and it makes everything stick to your body, too. It’s like the heat has a heartbeat and is throbbing it all over you. Something like that. I think you’re beginning to get the picture.
Couple this with the fact that I can’t go anywhere in the sun without SPF50+ (minimum) and this sticky situation gets a whole lot worse. Seriously, sticky. I also prefer to cover up from the sun’s rays, so this involves: hat, sunglasses, usually long-ish dress with a light coverup shirt over it… that’s a lot of stuff for somewhere that’s 35 degrees on average. But the UV index is also dangerously high here (“extreme” seems to be a popular term on the ol’ weather forecast sites), which I feel justifies my rather extreme get-up (har, har). In fact, it definitely does.
Anyway, so I’m trying to manage living respectfully and decently (aka not turning into a sweaty mess) with actually getting out and about and seeing the place. And I’ve come to a few conclusions already in my short time here:
1. Malls are everything.
2. Uber is also everything.
3. The time between 10am-4pm is deadly.
4. Deodorant won’t help you here. It’s like being in space: no one can hear you scream.
Gav and I also came to the conclusion that incidental exercise is a big no-no here. Even if you just think about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, your sweat glands will punish you for that within 20 seconds. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s not somewhere I wanna go back to.
Soooo… I’m still working on this one and am hoping my body will continue to adjust to the climate. To be fair, my Celtic soul has been handling this humidity very well, but even Gav and Sehar (with their beautiful darker skin) feel me on this. It’s hawt.
How about you? Have you lived/do you live in the tropics? Any tips to manage this conundrum would be muchly appreciated!