Tropizens 


I keep reading blogs that talk about Spring; and am reminded of the animated movie Bambi, where all the animals in the jungle celebrate Spring by breaking into a song-dance routine. Spring – when flowers bloom, when butterflies flutter, and when there is green everywhere!

Sigh! I can only read or watch movies about Spring. Living in the tropics as I do, the word ‘seasons’ is only useful when teaching my kids about seasonal changes in other parts of the world.

Where we live we have only three ‘seasons’ – warm, very warm and unbearably warm.

Our bodies are conditioned to easily handle temperatures of 33 deg and above.  We are used to thunderstorms and rainfall almost every day.

I am a Tropizen – a citizen of the tropics. Why am I saying this? This is because, like any other group of people, Tropizens exhibit certain behaviour patterns.

Take for example our handling of cold weather. Tropizens grow brrrrrrr…if the aircon temperature is set at anything below 24 deg. We feel cold in airports.

Imagine this – our family of Tropizens went on a trip to New Zealand a few years ago. It was in December, which is summer time in New Zealand. The internet told us that the temperature would be between 18 to 20 degrees during the day and around 12 deg at night. Rattlleeeee….!

For a Tropizen, that is winter..Brrrrr. We stocked up on caps, scarves, mufflers, gloves and thermals.

Picture courtesy – Cartoonstock.com
When we landed in Christchurch after our long flight, the fresh air seemed invigorating, initially. However, in a few hours we were wrapped up in our wollens.

As it was our first day, we decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood. The locals were enjoying their summer in cotton clothes, and were probably shocked to see eight people walking down the road, covered from head to toe in warm clothes.  They must have wondered if we were headed to some camp in the Antarctic.

Most restaurants had their tables set outside. People enjoyed tall glasses of drinks, with ice cubes tinkling in them. The thought of ice cubes made us chatter. We wanted hot coffee!

We were probably the only few people who asked to be seated indoors.

But at home, in the tropics,  we can survive the heat and humidity without batting an eyelid. We can guzzle big buckets of cold juice…with clinking ice cubes! We can take on lightning and thunderstorms, and anything else.

For us, comfort starts at 33 deg!

Living in the moment


It’s been quite windy here for the last week or so. We are usually only used to dealing with various shades of tropical humidity, interspersed with thunderstorms that come and go at will.

The wind puts a spring in my step as I head out on my morning walk. The walkers’park is teeming with people -walking, jogging and cycling.

The sun is yet to unleash its burning heat. The day is cool, made cooler by this delicious breeze.

The target is a 10 km walk. I set off at a steady pace. About six kilometers into my walk, I stop to drink water. There are stone benches along the treelined walkway.

On one of these benches is a man, his hands stretched and placed under his head. His feet are stretched out. I wonder if he is asleep. There are many plastic bags near his bench. I slowly start walking past. I realize that he is awake and enjoying that moment. He is totally in the moment. He is oblivious to my presence.

I smile in wonder. It is peak hour in the morning. Every walker and jogger wants to rush back and get started with his or her busy day, and then there is this man, totally relaxed!

I smile and walk on. The wind continues to blow pretty flowers from the trees to the ground. The intoxicating smell of frangipani teases my nostrils. Yellow and pink flowers dance in glee before they fall to the ground, transforming the grass into a colourful carpet.

Bliss.