Don’t disagree, especially when it’s a pregnant woman telling you that it’s hot.
Of lately, day temperatures have been hitting a high of 38°C and before you think it’s all fine and dandy for this girl from the tropics, let me remind you that in Malaysia, most people don’t hang out outdoors all day long and neither do they tan themselves in public and such (things like wearing a bikini at the park is a no-no!) – they work in buildings with air-conditioning, go home to houses with fans and air-conditioning, have lunches in restaurants with fans and/or air-conditioning, use cars and public transportation with air-conditioning…well, do you get my drift so far?
Many people here would kill for 365 days of perpetual summer but most Malaysians I know hate the heat because of one thing – it’s annoying, you feel lethargic all the time not to mention sweaty because of the humidity (which isn’t so good for the office either)…and well, the heat can do some pretty crazy things – people get crankier, tempers flare…etc. Plus when the nights are as hot as the days, it’s not something worth killing for. In fact, most Malaysians love it when it’s cool/cold.
Already back at home, I found it too hot and humid for my liking and back at home, median temperatures are always at 32°C. Thankgawd for the little things in life like a fan or air-conditioning.
Here, I don’t even have a fan, and I certainly don’t have air-conditioning. So I have to make do with whatever means possible to stay cool which is often 1) stay indoors, 2) take lots and lots of cold showers and 3) dress skimpy, at home that is. I coped well last late spring and early summer but this time around, I’m seriously having issues dealing with the heat because of one major factor.
I’m pregnant and what’s worse is that my late trimester is around summer – horrible. Just horrible. Pregnant women already have excess heat issues with the additional blood volume and increased metabolic rate. When I tell people at the hospital that the current heat is unbearable for me, they smile and nod because they know even though it’s just great for them. Why? Because they know.
When people who have never been pregnant or aren’t pregnant go “NOOOOOO, but it’s cool and you come from the tropics, so it shouldn’t be an issue”, that’s when I get pissed. People think it’s amusing and even strange when I complain about the heat during summer here. To fully understand why, here’s some food for thought:
If a person coming from a four-season country like Switzerland were to complain about how cold our air-conditioning in Malaysia is, I’d go “NOOOOOO, but you come from Switzerland so it shouldn’t be an issue – it’s colder there”. You’d be annoyed, if not pissed, because you know that in winter, you don’t walk around outside in T-shirt and shorts plus sandals, and neither do you hang out in places without heating.
…so, moral of the story?
Just smile politely when a pregnant women from the tropics complains about the heat in summer.