How Not to Stay Cool in the Tarai

I’ve just moved back to the Tarai after a period of absence, and am living in the same house I was based in last year. Re-adjusting to the heat is a bit of a challenge after several months in the hills.

When I first moved into the house, I inherited a giant, gecko shit-encrusted air cooling machine from the landlord. At first I had no idea what this thing was, having come from a country known for its temperate weather. It looked like a cross between a washing machine and the Large Hadron Collider. Perplexed, I just used it as a place to stack newspapers.

This is what my air cooling machine looks like. Sort of

Anyhow, I switched it on today, and have concluded that it’s just about the most counter-productive piece of equipment in the world. All it does is to blast the house with warm air that smells like wet socks and potatoes, make a roaring sound like a light aircraft taking off, and create a vortex in the middle of the living room into which interview notes rapidly disappear. Sitting in the same room as the air cooler made me think of those Bollywood song sequences where wind is blowing on the actors from no discernable source.

Anyway, field ko jindagi yestai ho. My life is not quite as glamorous as previous blog entries might have suggested, and air coolers are rubbish. Just as well that the fridge (which I am tempted to climb into) has a nice bottle of Everest beer waiting in it.

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2 Responses to “How Not to Stay Cool in the Tarai”

  1. Oh dear Ajnabee, Kollywood Queen you may be, but you stil have much to learn about surviving the heat when you can’t afford an A/C. A very uncomfortable May and June taught me a lot about air coolers. First of all I presume it was filled with water? Second, did you leave the windows and doors open, or enough of them to ensure full air-circulation? Air coolers kind of work the opposite from air-conditioners, instead of shutting the outside world out you have to ensure fresh air can get in and out to avoid too much humidity. Finally, they do seem to work best when pointed straight at you.

    If you follow these rules then air coolers can be pretty effective I found, but they only seem to work in dry environments. How humid is the Terai these days? Pretty humid I’m guessing, so yeah, fair enough, maybe it just won’t work, sorry.

    Have you tried one of those fan wallah boys?

    • well… the cooler is topped up with water and was bubbling away quite happily. I think it’s the lack of ventilation in the house that is the problem. we’ve got tiny windows here… I think i’m starting to adjust to the heat gradually

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