Every morning we walk out of our air conditioned condo into the balmy tropical temperatures. Singapore is nearly on the equator. That means it is hot here, right? Well, it is hot, but not an unbearable, cannot-go-outside hot. The range is between 26 to 32 degrees C ( which converted is 80 to 90 degrees F) .
There is rain on the forecast nearly every day, but it doesn’t everyday. There seems to be a cycle of rainy weather, and I think I have it figured out.
It gets real dry, with beautiful blue skies, for about a week. Then the sky turns grey, and then it rains off and on for about 3 days, and then it gets humid until it gradually dries out again, and then it rains again.
Let me tell ya, when it rains here, it RAINS!!! I mean, it rains so hard that the water droplets bounce up off the concrete all the way to your knees. An extra large umbrella is needed. And it needs to be carried with at all times. Singapore is a very small country, but it can easily be sunny on one street, and raining cats and dogs on the next.
Because of all the rain, Singapore has a very complicated and complex rain drainage system to deal with the run-off. All that water has to go someplace right? So they built trenches, lined with concrete, that run into canals, that run either into the one river in this country (the Singapore River) or the ocean. These trenches are everywhere .. the run next to each and every sidewalk, next to the roads, down all hillsides, along highways, beside the market, in yards, parks, schools, everywhere. If these weren’t here, I am positive this country would be a giant swamp.
And high humidity all the time. There is no need to put on lotion or chap stick here. Because of this, the natives here NEVER get wrinkles or icky skin. It’s like they just don’t age. I have found it quite entertaining to ask people their age. Because I alway think they are about 20 years younger than they actually are.
It’s not like, sticky humid, though. It never feels unbearable, ever. It’s just nice tropical weather, all the time. After living in northern USA for most of our lives, with frigid temperature and winters that last from October until May, the idea of living in a climate where its warm every day, every night, all year long, is a dream come true.
Another interesting thing is, since we are so close to the equator, the sun rises and sets at the same time every day, all year long. Up at 7 am, and down at 7 pm. No time change in the spring or fall either.
All the buildings are air conditioned, usually set very low, to the point of good bumps. So a light sweater or shawl also needs to be carried with at all times, along with that umbrella. After a few very miserable dinners at restaurants where the air con was set very low, I learned to never forget my sweater. Maria too. On a few nights out she and I have been so cold that we could barely eat.
We have found that when we first arrived, we were very hot, and we kept the air conditioning pretty cold. But we have adjusted and gradually we are changing the temp inside our condo to 25 to 26 degrees C. ( we started at 21). Many people here don’t use air con at all (the electricity here is outrageously expensive) but it’s so humid that without the air con the mold grows. I was told that in five days time, black mold will grow. And then you have to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of cleaning supplies to get rid of it, plus if it gets in the clothes, you will need a whole new wardrobe. ( maybe that’s not really a bad thing though?). So we keep our air con low enough that we don’t have to worry about it.
We have some neighbors who are from India and others from China .. they NEVER turn on the air con, ever. They leave their windows (with no screens) wide open, all the time. As well as their doors. And both of them live on the ground floors, which mean, any old critter can wander (or slither) into their homes. And I hear it happens quite often. That is another blog post in itself … the critters.
Anyhow, to quote Jimmy Buffett, “the weather is here, wish you were beautiful!” (if you cannot twist this quote around because you haven’t had a margarita yet, try this … “the weather is beautiful, wish you were here!!”