About this time of year Bangkok becomes a liveable, bearable – dare I say it – nice place to be. The swamping heat is replaced by cool breezes. First thing in the morning is refreshing and, mercy upon mercy, you can run. Outside. Without dying.
People seem genuinely more relaxed – perhaps perception rather than reality on my part and – life is just easier. Certainly, wearing a tie to work (or, as I like to call it, Stripy Chain of Worker Bondage) is much less of a pain. We also get to exist without the perpetual hum of AC providing a droning soundtrack to our daily existence, which has the effect of making you feel like you’re living in a Pink Floyd album.
At the moment, I have the windows open and no fan blowing. It is an absolute joy.
At least, that’s the British perspective.
To the Thais, this is like the start of The Day After Tomorrow. Small children are dressed up in layer upon layer of clothing. Scarfs and little bobble hats are donned with parental fear of…actually I’m not sure what the parents are afraid of. Frost bite? Hypothermia? Savage penguin attacks?
As I look out of my gloriously open window, I can see a boy of around eight years old who looks like he is about to take on Everest.
It’s 25 C.
Before Christmas I was chatting to our maid and she asked me what the temperature was in England. I nonchalantly said around 9 C, at night below freezing.
“Wha-” she wailed, “too cold!”
I shrugged, doing my best Bear Grylls impression.
“It gets colder” I whispered enigmatically, waggling my eyebrows.
She ran off shaking her head and muttering in Thai.
It’s not hard to understand why, when you’ve grown up in the hottest city on Earth, a temperature drop can feel like an arctic vortex.
But for us temperate farang we revel in the slight chill in the air this tiny sliver of the year brings.
At least until the heat comes back next week.