My Facebook feed is a veritable feast of weather related woes at the moment. Friends in Spain are experiencing unexpected snow, Aussies are bemoaning the hottest summer temperatures for years, on a small Greek island high winds have attacked a telegraph pole threatening the islands connections to the outside world and the Brits are, as usual, moaning about cold, rain, snow, ice and everything else weather related whilst simultaneously taking the p*ss out of those who report on it in my beloved homeland.
Meanwhile, here in Cambodia we don’t have winter. As we are in the Northern hemisphere I guess it is officially winter but here we opt for a more simple descriptive to label the months of November to March with – the Dry Season.
Before I arrived I’d convinced myself (with the help of guidebooks and internet resources) that the dry season was the better of the two options here simply because it doesn’t rain. But other than that I had little idea what to actually expect.
And I have to say, three months in I’m pleasantly surprised by what’s occurred.
We got off to a hairy start as the day of mum’s arrival in Cambodia back in early November saw us experiencing an un precedented around 12 hours of solid rain – erm hello!?!?!?! dry season!?!?!?!
Thankfully, 4 hours before mum arrived the rain buggered off and the dry season began to truly live up to its name.
So, here’s a lovely list of my top ten highlights (and a couple of lowlights for balance) of the dry season in Cambodia:
- The dawn chorus is getting more amazing as each day goes by. I live in the centre of a busy, noisy capital city and yet I’m greeted by stunning bird song as I wander out onto my balcony every morning.
- Lower humidity means less changes of clothing required, less embarrassing sweat patches to be disguised and generally less sweaty yuckiness all around
- A high of 32 degrees today with a gentle breeze and wall to wall sunshine – say no more!
- I can wear my best flip flops and not worry about them getting wet which would dull the sparkliness as has happened to my second best ones!
- The water levels in the rivers and lakes are definitely falling but the land still has a lushness to it and there’s plenty of greenery to be found
- The sudden fragrance of the beautiful frangipani flowers wafting on the ever present breeze (oooh that’s a bit poetic isn’t it!)
- I don’t need to have the air conditioning on all the time in my office. A quick blast in the morning when I arrive and another after lunch is usually enough to keep my office at a comfortable temperature to work in
- Because the very uneven and sometimes untarmaced roads and pavements aren’t full of puddles I can actually look up when I walk around the city and admire the varied and sometimes bonkers scenery
- And while we’re on the subject of walking, I’m getting everywhere just that little bit faster thanks to the lower humidity and thus lesser fear of arriving at my destination resembling a bedraggled sweat drenched bag lady
- The demented duck geckos (Officially called Tokay geckos I think) aren’t as prevalent in the dry season meaning more unbroken sleep thanks to the lack of their constant quacking song.
And now for the minuses:
- There are more mosquitoes. Probably partly down to the lack of Tokay geckoes but regardless, this is not what I expected and I am suitably unimpressed – cue furious scratching as yet another bite is discovered!
- The temperature drops at night and so I now wake up cold at about 2am every morning and have to scrabble around to find the blanket to pull over me. No doubt the smart readers among you will have noticed that this fact makes number 10 in my list of pluses an out and out lie #sorrynotsorry
- The sun doesn’t rise until after 6am meaning I now have to rely on my alarm clock to wake me up leading to a slightly more grumpy Sara than I would like in the mornings (until the birds start singing of course then normal service is resumed)
So there you have it. The ups and downs of winter in the Kingdom of Wonder. Wrap up warm folks!