September 5, 2015

Being Sweaty and Other Thoughts

Southeast Asia is a hot and wet place.

There's no getting around that fact.

For example, Alan left his slightly damp backpack on the floor of our for a few days and today it was covered in mold. A little Clorox seemed to take care of the mold, but now the backpack is actually wet, which may keep it out of commission for a week or so.

Things don't really dry here. After you wash a load of clothes, you hang them out on your balcony. Three days later, they are still a little damp, but at some point you just have to bring them in. It rains pretty much every day.

In my mind, as long as no giant spiders (or even small ones) have made homes in my socks or undies while they were hanging on the line, I'm pretty okay with the dampness.

The humidity situation kind of effects other areas of the apartment, too.

The closet is a little musty.

The bathroom is a little moldy--despite my efforts with bleach.

We have to mop the shower floor literally after every shower because of the way the shower floor slopes away from the drain, leaving a pool of standing water. Mosquito-breeding ground, anyone?

We've got one cupboard that I refuse to open because of the smell that comes out. I don't know what's causing the smell, but I haven't seen anything (no dead animals or horrible obvious mold), but it is a choking stench. I can live with one fewer cupboard.

That's our apartment in the rainy season (a.k.a. now).

House chores during the rainy season are a bit of drag, but nothing compared to trying to keep one's body unsweaty. When I stand in front of the fan applying baby powder post-shower, I feel like a pre-game LeBron James. But even the cloud of powder isn't enough to keep my skin from sticking to everything. Mostly, I just get powder all over my black shirts. 

I spray a tea tree oil and water mixture on my scalp during every shower to ward off itchy head and the heat-induced rashes I used to get in Cambodia.

I don't wear face make-up. I'd sweat it all off by the time I finished my walk to school anyway.

I carry a sweat towel at all times, especially for eating at the campus canteen.

I don't wear jeans. Too hot. WAY too hot.

I change underwear pretty often. Sweaty butt is no good.

I drink a lot of iced coffee, iced tea, and ice-based smoothies. 

I don't teach without the a/c on. 

I don't sleep without the fan on.

So, I hope that satiates my need to whine about being hot and sweaty. It's part of the deal when you live in Thailand. The beautiful and lush tropical forests come at a cost. It's worth it.