The heat is on

Unless you've been living under an air-conditioned rock, then you've realised it's hotter outside than a plate of green chillies. And with April emerging faster than the perspiration drenching your body, good luck to those who dare to don bright-coloured shirts.

But since pretty much every day in Bangkok ranges from "Damn, it's hot outside" to "Holy sweatballs, my brain is melting in this heat", we Thais will have to keep adapting to this blazing weather until the polar caps melt. Sure, some of us run and hide in the wintry embrace of offices and malls, but the nation's bravest have taken to the scorching streets, sweat stains be damned! Here's a guide on how some Thais deal with the heat; use these tips to help you until the snow dance you've been doing actually works.

Thais prefer to use an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun because it would just be too obvious to use it when it's raining. Make sure to carry it with you at all times, especially if you're an office lady who has to walk outside to get lunch. Bonus points if you're one of those people who pokes others with the sharp edges of your umbrella.

You can find pretty much anything you need at 7-Eleven shops. However given the abundance of its stores around the city, smart people use 7-Eleven to take refuge from the heat. Simply walk in, cringe at the sound of the ringing doorbell, head towards the refrigerator, open the fridge door, stick your head in for a few minutes, and then dare to venture outside again. Repeat at next 7-Eleven location (which will probably be next door) until desired result is achieved.

Sure, McDonald's isn't necessarily considered the healthiest purchase. However its take-away bags serve as an effective sun blocker. Holding the bag up to the sun also helps keep the food warm till you get home and are ready to eat it, so it's a win-win for everyone. Feel free to substitute the McDonald's bag for a newspaper, scarf, purse, or small child to keep the sun out of your face.

If you're lucky enough to be near a body of water during the hot season, then by all means, get wet and wild! But to cool down like a proper Thai, make sure to keep all your clothes on when you enter the water. Preferred swimming attire includes sweaters, pants and hats because who really has time to get their bikini body ready?

While Thais will wear their clothes while swimming, it's perfectly OK to sit out in public without a shirt on to cool down. Oh yeah, baby.

Hot weather can make people feel sleepy (well, so can cool, rainy, humid, or any other weather, but that's beside the point). So get creative like Thais do and use easily available items to create a makeshift bed and take a midday snooze.

Or better yet, just find a buddy who needs shelter from the heat too and enjoy some cuddles! Who said nothing good comes out of this sweltering weather?G

About the author

columnist
Writer: Sumati Sivasiamphai
Position: Guru Editor