Keeping Cool This Summer
By Kevin Cain
Well as the Peak Season and the cooler temperatures are now behind us, we can look forward to the “Summer” and soaring temperatures.Forecasters are predicting that this year it is going to be a rough ride and temperatures of 45 degrees plus has been bandied around which in old money equates to 113 degrees fahrenheit.
A few months ago I wrote an article on how to keep your pets cool, but as one of our readers glibly suggested, “What about us humans?” This began my thinking of just how do we keep cool when we are out and about in the scorching sun? Like our furry friends it is even more important than usual that we keep hydrated and if going on any car journeys essential that extra bottles of water always be included for the ride.
For those of us who are retired or on holiday, a leisurely stroll to the beach and a pleasant shady spot to sit will suffice and a nice iced coffee or cold beer may be the only addition needed. But what happens when you are downtown doing a spot of shopping at the market or crammed in a baht bus coming home from Tukom.? Are there any bolt-holds that are available dotted around that can act as relief stops whilst you are outdoors?
My first suggestion would be your local 7/11 shop. I fully recommend a quick cool off in Thailand’s favourite shop as their air conditioning is superb, I often partake of a breath of cool air during my working day as the air conditioning is not the best at my desk, so a quick five or ten minutes browsing the shelves looking at various items is ideal. Some branches including the Chaiyapruk one, also make iced frappes and other assorted cool drinks. The benefit of ordering one of these is that it normally takes a good fifteen minutes to prepare, and there is always a number of like minded coolists to engage in conversation.However 7/11 is not the only heat haven, I would also thoroughly recommend Findig, Family Mart, Watsons and of course the large Malls. The key to this strategy is to plan your route meticulously, and ensure there are sufficient heat havens along your way. Don’t give way to the temptation of actually shopping, as dragging your bags around will only add to your problems.
A trip to the cinema is a sure fire way to cool down. Whereas during the rest of the year the air conditioning can be likened to provide that of arctic temperatures so much so that you can often need to take a jumper in with you. However at the hottest time of the year it could be just the place to be, although don’t forget to stand up for the national anthem that is played before each film.
Or you could take a dip - the beauty of life in Thailand is that you are never too far from the sea a stroll down to the beach may reward you with a slight sea breeze or even better a trip to a local island like Koh Larn will be refreshing on the journey there and back as well as a few degrees cooler on the island than in the centre of town. However even if you are in Pattaya proper and feel the need to dip your feet in the water you’re really never very far away from a swimming pool. In fact if you flip the book and look in this month’s Property Trader there are plenty of ideas for where to find pools in town or even think about adding one to your own property.
Many people already enjoy the weekly ritual of having a massage Thai or Oil when the masseuse through a combination of pressure and semi yoga poses will help you leave feeling invigorated and refreshed. However even if you feel that just a foot massage would be the thing when you have been on your feet far too long and they feel hot and dusty. Entering the tranquil calm of a massage place will not only provide an ideal hideaway from the heat for the time you are there it will also been you are refreshed and ready to cope with the onslaught of hot air as you step back outside.
Always remember almost anything can be used in your plight to keep cool. Do not ignore anything whatsoever, even good old fashioned dirt. If you have a spade and a willing helper then any patch of land near you can be utilised.Simply dig a trench and stack the walls high with the soil that has been removed. Then fill up the trench with water, the ensuing mud filling up the hole transforms the trench into the ideal Mud Pool. My idea came from the Discovery Channel with a program on Hippopotamuses in Africa. Although they did not actually dig their own Mud Pool, the happy creatures seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, and David Attenborough was adamant that they were keeping cool by rolling around in the mud.
Mud, mud glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud
Remember, keep cool out there, and I will see you all in 7/11.