The secret to beating the humidity in Thailand
Thailand Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
The first time I visited Thailand was with my parents, I was 7-8 and it was my first international traveling experience. From LAX to BKK it took a total of 31 hours including layovers in both Hawaii and Korea. I was in absolute awe of the entire process, the airplanes, the airport, the people, etc... I was ready to learn and experience the culture of my ancestors. It was late in the evening and we had just passed through customs, continuing my journey through a long hallway that would eventually spit us out into the airport arrival terminal. I was so anxious to see what exotic land would meet me on the otherside. As the end of the hallway quickly approached I could hear cheering and yelling...oddly enough it was from the family I have never met. My first trip to Thailand was the first time my parents have gone back to Thailand in 12 years, so all of my mothers 6 and all of my fathers 9 brothers and sisters including all of thier children, my new cousins, found it appropriate to greet us with fanfare. World of Wonder (WOW). What a great country. I have not yet been here for more than 30 minutes and I already have my own cheering section. The hugs and kisses eventually stopped and it was time to leave the airport, so we headed towards the automated sliding doors...and thats where it happened. I was struck with no warning. My excitement for travel and the possibilities of magical destinations beyond the door in the homeland of my ancestors came to a complete halt. There I stood inches away from the sliding glass door, the door itself stuttured in confusion not knowing whether to close or remain open. I was still inside the airport only inches from the outside, unable to move my feet. My family stood there staring at me in confusion. My brother trying to coax me outside, "What the hell are waiting for. LETS GO!" I vividly rememer the thoughts in my head, even at the age of 7-8, "What the fuck is this?? Are you shitting me? Is this scientificaly possible? It's midnight and the sun has been asleep for hours. Where the fuck is this heat coming from? Why is my skin sticky?? Is this what they call humidity?" As you can fathom, I was quite intelligent at such a young age.
All that, just to describe the heat and humidity in Thailand. Mind you, I have spent the summer of 2007 in the Middle East, or as they now call politically South West Asia, running through the West Bank in 120 degree heat with my 65lbs backpack. I have scaled the hills of Petra in Jordan to reach the overwhelming Roman structure so eloquently titled, the Monument in the same 120 degree heat. However, nothing slaps you in the face harder than the hot humid weather of Thailand. The summer heat in Thailand has been known to melt the dashboard of cars. How do the Thai's survive in such relentless heat?? One word: POWDER. The title of this entry is "The secret to beating the humidity in Thailand". And here it is...powder. Thai people use a specidfic talcum powder called "Prickly Heat". Its amazing... Prickly Heat when wet or mixed with water has a cooling sensation that is cooling and quite pleasant. Walking the streets of Thailand, it is very common to see the faces and necks of Thais smothered and caked with the white powder...many of you have witnessed it yourself, but probably imagined it to be poor make-up application of ill educated Thai women.