This morning, it was so chilly when I woke up that for a while, I thought I was in wintry Japan. Where the first thing I needed to do when I got out of the safe, thick blanket was to grab the fleece jacket to seek refuge. Where I had to run to switch on the diesel heater in the room switched off the night before to prevent the body from inhaling diesel fumes all night long -- memories of the stay in a century-old Japanese home in Tokushima where the heating system was not as advanced as the modern Japanese home. Where I dreaded bathing times as those were the opportune time for the cold to squeeze its way through the pores of my skin. But no, this is Singapore and all I needed to do was to grab a sweater and all will be fine.
And just the other day, sleep eluded me as I lay on the bed because the night was sizzling hot. In the naturally-ventilated room where I slept with an overhead fan above me, I wondered what else I could do to keep myself cool and lull the mind to sleep beside meditating, which obviously wasn't working as I ought not to be thinking of anything else other than focusing on my breaths. It felt cognitively similar though to those freezing nights in my room atop a hill in Kyoto a few months back where I tried to figure out how to keep myself warm in order to have a fitful sleep. The only way I could think of then to keep my face warm -- the last remaining part of my body left uncovered after wearing a scarf around the stiff neck and gloves to rein in the frozen fingers -- was to cover the face with the thick blanket. As I figured out how to angle the thick blanket on my face such that I wouldn't suffocate in my sleep and would live to see another day, I wondered how my elderly air bnb hosts survive the Japanese wintry nights all these years.
Perhaps it is the travel-deprived mind on overdrive.
The changing weathers have their way of bringing back in truckloads memories of one's life. It's probably true that the non-existence of the four seasons in our sunny island means we don't get to feel as strongly a range of emotions associated with the arrival and departure of seasons. But who's to say we are deprived of the richness of experiences here as we enjoy the cool respite of the day as the birds chirp alongside us, outside the window?
I know for sure I will enjoy it while it lasts.