goa palolem

So I went for about twenty-fifth time to seek exotic heat. One could think, that there would be no surprises for me anymore that I have seen and experienced everything there is to experience. Sooner or later, trip to exotic countries always ends the same, one can never escape the „silly“ effects of new environment. During my last journey to Sri Lanka, I made myself think about why does it work that way, and decided to write a report about it.



Getting use to new environment

Imagine that all year long you sit in comfortably air-conditioned office, or classroom, and your movements are just from your office to your car. Your body is used to a certain rhythm of life and comfort, which doesn't provide much deviation from everyday norm. Then the day „ D“ comes and you blast off for your vacation to hot climates.

The first sensation that stuns you is incredible heat and humidity that is worse then beeing in a laundry room. You will experience the most extremes in March and April, when, for example in South-East Asia, it is the peak of the dry season and the landscape is torrid, rivers are dried out and the thermometer almost always reaches 40° C temperatures and 50° C in the cities. Some people get use to it very fast, others may first experience an allergic reaction, just like me.

Another variable is the time difference. Five to seven hour time difference is already noticeable to the biorhythm. In the beginnings of my travels, I did not pay much attention to the time of the plane's arrival to Asia. For example, my first trip started at 6:30 am. 6:30 is usually not so bad, but at the same time it is just midnight in my country and try to start a new day at midnight! Once I fell asleep standing up in the highest floor of the famous skyscraper, Taipei 101, another time I fell asleep in the ditch on Victoria Peak, in Hong Kong. That must had been an amusing site for the passers-by, that of course had no idea, that I am on my 48th hour of beeing awake. Ever since then I try to find a flight that lands in the destination in the afternoon and I also try to break up my sleep in the airplane.

chinesse meal



Traps of exotic environment

When you get hungry, you go to a restaurant to feed on an amazingly exotic meal. A hungry stomach is use to eating, but a totally different food. On top of it, the constant heat is also something, your body is not use to. And, so... has it ever happened to you, that you had to go really urgently to the toilet, just when you were sitting in a taxi, that was trapped in traffic, in the middle of a multi-million people city? Or even better scenario is, if you urgently need the bathroom when you have been swimming for 2 hours in a cave lake. These situations are just a „balm“ for your nerves. These days I am paying close attention to what, and mainly, where I eat. I try to avoid new experiments with food and I also avoid eating at the marketplaces.

Transportation is a story of its own. From extreme heat, you go to extreme cold, which the driver of every other bus is trying to achieve. When you finally get completely frozen through, they kick you out, back to the hellish forge. If you happen to ride in an non air-conditioned vehicle, you can be sure that all the windows and doors are opened and the wind can also do its damage on you. Some people will suffer with cold and runny nose in the first few days, some will hold longer. Fortunately, I had to battle a cold in hot weather only once and it happened on my last trip. Your present-day immune system also plays a major role in you catching a cold, or not.

The sun shines over our heads all the time and in exotic, tropical destinations, it is perpendicular over us, it burns extremely and we cannot see our own shadow most of the time. If you don't pay attention and forget to apply sunscreen, it may cause you some troubles. I remember very well that a sunburn hurts for about four days. It is not worth to have to go through it again, so I never lay flat on the beach to bake on the sun again.

Then the evening comes and the first night in new environment creeps in, the temperature outside is still 30° C. Do I have a great air-conditioned room? Yes, but it is too cold to spend the whole night in it. Do I have a fan? It's great, but have you ever came across a fan, that does not make wailing noises, while turning? The last option is to sleep in a sauna and wake up in the morning three liters lighter.

koh rong challets



What to add on the end?

On the end of each journey, I count all the bites I've earned, despite my religious bite-prevention. „The best“ score I ended up with was in Cambodia, where about 50 invisible sand flies had a party on my body and in Malaysia, where I had a broken mosquito net and made about 40 mosquitos super happy (or satisfied one mosquito with big appetite). Lately I've become more successful in my fight against the biters, or maybe they don't find me as tasty any more.

I hope my report doesn't appear too negative and doesn't sound discouraging. Even with all these obstacles, I am always excited to undertake new journeys!



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