Adapting to Life Near the Equator

Looks like a huge storm is coming.

I must have said them a lot, but let me properly document it somewhere: the things I have to adapt to when I return to Near-Equator.

1. The Storm

Storm is rare in Korea. Like very very rare. Through the years I lived there, they do have heavy rains, but without thunders and lightnings. It just poured. They hardly have this kind of giant dense black clouds either. Instead, when it’s going to rain, they have a wide-spread grey sky instead of the usual gorgeous milky blue on a bright day. But towards the end of my stay I noticed they had a few days of storm.

When I arrived back from Korea, I was terrified of storm. I couldn’t sleep well when it rains. Somehow it felt like something bad is going to happen. I remember calling my husband who was at work when there was a storm and I was alone at home because I was scared. He had told me to stay at first floor so I would be farther away from the roof and therefore wouldn’t hear them as much.

Now thunder or whatever I just sleep. Lol.

2. The Weather

Ah, the weather. The year-long hot weather. I used to joke that in Malaysia we have four seasons too: hot, very hot, crazy hot, almost-dead hot. Somehow it makes one year feels so long. When you have four seasons, each season feels new and fresh so you unconsciously refresh yourself each season, now it is a neverending similar pattern it somehow makes you feel stagnant and your motivation just gradually decrease as the year pass by. Until you have a new year, the only time you feel like you have a new start all over again.

And to combat the weather too, I had ice-cream everyday when I first arrive, which contributed to my weight gain. And I don’t have my coffee hot anymore, don’t care what you say but how can you drink hot drinks in hot weather?

3. The Switch on Power Plugs

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. In Korea, their power plugs don’t have a switch. You just need to plug in anything into the power sockets and it will work. No, not in Malaysia. You need to *switch* that thing on. So yeah, I had issues of plugging in my phone for charging only to realize the switch is not on.

I still have those habits now. Old habits die hard.

4. Paying with Cards

Seriously, I don’t bring cash. No need to rob me, I got no money on me. In Korea, you pay everything by cards. Even that taxi driver. Even that small kedai runcit behind your house. And it makes it easier because cards are automatically linked to tax office. You don’t need to separately request the payee to register your transaction for tax deduction. Long story on the tax thing, but the point is I don’t need cash with me.

Now I still have my husband nagging me about my lack of cash in my wallet. Each time I’m going out on my own he would remind me again and again that I need to have cash with me, that not all shops in Malaysia accepts card etc etc.

Like right now? I only have RM7 in my wallet. Ha ha ha ha ha.

5. Opening/Closing Umbrella while Getting In and Out of Car

Because the entrance into subway station are big (hahaha) I never had difficulties opening and closing my umbrella. I will not have difficulties doing so while getting in and out of the car too, if I don’t mind my carseat to be drenched. I’m clumsy in nature so the simple task of gliding in and out of the car while slipping the umbrella through the small door opening is impossible. Open the door wider and there will be no point of carefully whipping the umbrella anymore.

Other than the above, I seem to be getting on well with life here. There were a lot of complaining and comparing, but I learn to live with what I have in hands. Even if it means no more decent sports massage or cool winter boots. I’ll miss a few things here and there, but if I were to ask if I wanted to return, I think my most probable answer is,

“No, thank you.”

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