I grew up in a part of the world that experiences all four seasons with a vengeance. Snow up to your ass in Winter. Heat and humidity conspiring to drive you to your knees in summer. Breathtakingly gorgeous fall colors. Rainy springs with just enough sun to give you hope. The number of hours of daylight reflected the season; winter’s frigid cold wasn’t helped by the fact that it was dark when I left for work and was often dark when I headed home, spring meant the return of daylight after 4 or 5pm, Summer had long days with the late sunset around 9, and Fall’s return to school meant a that the number of sunlit hours would again wane. This rhythm of the year is a deep part of me.
Which is why Singapore is so disorienting. Seasons are meaningless here. Sure there are things to mark time by…the relatively cooler Dec/Jan/Feb, and the more humid and hot July/August/September. And of course the annual haze in Octoberish….let’s not forget that pleasant experience. But by and large, every day is going to be around 90, sunny, humid, and there will be a rainstorm at some point, usually short (except in the Dec/Jan/Feb/March period). The sun will shine from 7 to 7. It will be dark from 7 to 7. Life is…constant and predictable.
There are pros and cons to this sort of consistency. I don’t need 3 or 4 full sets of clothes (in theory…in reality, we do because we travel). I don’t need to check the weather report. There will be no months of anxious tv watching worrying about who will keep an eye on the kids if a snow day is declared and school is canceled. There are no fights with Elanor about whether or not she needs a jacket to go out (except when we’re traveling). There is no digging my car out of a snow embankment created when a plow went through. But it also means that time, seasons, and months lose their meaning.
It feels impossible that March is finishing up already. That it’s the first day of Spring. Aside from the lack of decorations on Orchard Road, it could easily be Christmastime here.
It’s interesting how life in Singapore has changed travel for me, with regards to weather. While I now have an aversion to being places when it’s “winter” there (if indeed it does get cold), I am eager to go places experiencing spring/fall weather. A difference in temperature, the chance to wear jeans again (without sweating) is an exciting novelty that adds to the attractiveness of a trip.
Part of me wonders how I’ll adjust back when we do finally go home to the US. How long until I remember that yes, you need to check a weather report daily? I was often guilty of going out last November without a jacket because it just didn’t occur to me that I’d need one…only to go back inside and get one. Will I be happy to have the seasons back, or will I miss the consistency of equatorial weather?
If you’ve been there, done that (lived somewhere with profoundly different weather from your home, and then returned home) how did your transition go?