It Ain’t Half Hot

In a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’, I’m now ( sometimes ) pining for the winter chill of Whangarei.

Here’s why;

As you see above, early afternoons feel like 41 °C. Before 7 a.m. feels like 30 °C, and by early evening, it’s cooled way down to … 33 °C . And those evening and afternoon ‘walks’ are done in the apartment corridor, in the teeth of a breeze.

Who needs a cooker? If not for the dust, you could slow-cook something on the pavement here. In the afternoons.

So I’m struggling a little – going ‘outside’ ( anywhere without air-conditioning ) feels like plunging into a hot bath, at least after late morning.

Here’s how I’m attempting to cope;

  • Decamping to the bedroom

    , the only place in the apartment with air-conditioning. It’s small, so the air-conditioning works pretty efficiently. And, surprisingly cheap, by setting the aircon temp at ~= 26 °C, and running a fan. I finagled a deal for power @ 3000 VND ( NZD 0.20c ) / unit from the usual deal of 4000 VND / unit.

  • Cucumbers

    Brewing up ‘pickled’ cucumbers by adding hot water, salt, and apple cider vinegar to chopped cucumbers, and stashing them in the fridge. ‘Cool as a cucumber’.

  • Skulling

    plenty of water.

  • Opening windows

    and doors to get a mini-hurricane whirling through the main room by late afternoon. Downside : the madness and horns from the road below are in my face.

  • Dousing

    myself around the neck, shoulders, and under-arms with ‘cold’ water. Most times, the pipes themselves are warm, so this works best with fridge-cooled water.

  • I’m a little nervous about the return to teaching ( early May? ), not least because official Government guidelines advise against using aircon in classrooms!

    This isn’t what it said on the packet. Below is the official climate in Nha Trang. April – average relative humidity – 80.5%. Take it with a grain of salt.

    Nha Trang Climate

    Climate data for Nha Trang
    Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
    Record high °C (°F) 31.9
    (89.4)
    33.3
    (91.9)
    34.2
    (93.6)
    35.9
    (96.6)
    38.5
    (101.3)
    39.5
    (103.1)
    39.0
    (102.2)
    39.5
    (103.1)
    38.3
    (100.9)
    34.8
    (94.6)
    34.3
    (93.7)
    32.8
    (91.0)
    39.5
    (103.1)
    Average high °C (°F) 26.9
    (80.4)
    27.7
    (81.9)
    29.3
    (84.7)
    31.0
    (87.8)
    32.3
    (90.1)
    32.5
    (90.5)
    32.4
    (90.3)
    32.5
    (90.5)
    31.5
    (88.7)
    29.7
    (85.5)
    28.2
    (82.8)
    26.9
    (80.4)
    30.1
    (86.2)
    Daily mean °C (°F) 23.9
    (75.0)
    24.5
    (76.1)
    25.7
    (78.3)
    27.3
    (81.1)
    28.4
    (83.1)
    28.6
    (83.5)
    28.4
    (83.1)
    28.4
    (83.1)
    27.6
    (81.7)
    26.6
    (79.9)
    25.6
    (78.1)
    24.4
    (75.9)
    26.6
    (79.9)
    Average low °C (°F) 21.3
    (70.3)
    21.8
    (71.2)
    22.9
    (73.2)
    24.6
    (76.3)
    25.5
    (77.9)
    25.6
    (78.1)
    25.4
    (77.7)
    25.4
    (77.7)
    24.7
    (76.5)
    24.0
    (75.2)
    23.3
    (73.9)
    22.0
    (71.6)
    23.9
    (75.0)
    Record low °C (°F) 14.6
    (58.3)
    14.6
    (58.3)
    16.4
    (61.5)
    19.4
    (66.9)
    19.7
    (67.5)
    19.8
    (67.6)
    20.6
    (69.1)
    21.5
    (70.7)
    21.3
    (70.3)
    18.8
    (65.8)
    16.9
    (62.4)
    15.1
    (59.2)
    14.6
    (58.3)
    Average rainfall mm (inches) 38
    (1.5)
    16
    (0.6)
    31
    (1.2)
    35
    (1.4)
    70
    (2.8)
    59
    (2.3)
    36
    (1.4)
    50
    (2.0)
    159
    (6.3)
    302
    (11.9)
    332
    (13.1)
    153
    (6.0)
    1,280
    (50.4)
    Average rainy days 7.8 4.0 3.3 4.3 8.5 9.2 8.4 9.6 15.2 17.7 17.6 14.0 119.5
    Average relative humidity (%) 78.0 78.8 79.7 80.5 79.3 77.8 77.2 77.4 80.4 83.2 81.8 79.5 79.5
    Mean monthly sunshine hours 185 208 261 258 255 230 242 233 202 183 142 142 2,540
    Source: Vietnam Institute for Building Science and Technology[10]

Day Tripper

Sitting on one’s chuff is sometimes necessary, but never desirable for long stretches, for fear of growing carbuncles on the underside.

With that in mind, after a morning’s slog over a hot microphone, I took myself off for a jaunt to the south, following the beach along the coastline. Below is roughly the route.

And even further below is what I found. As you see, Nha Trang is achingly beautiful. The beaches are clean, the air is fresh, and even the over-zealous and under-worked security guards didn’t upset my buoyant mood.

McJob

It’s work, Jim, but not as we know it.

I got a job at a Language Centre here in Nha Trang. It’s a McJob because;

  • Right now, it’s a zero-hour job. I’m basically on call. So far I’ve done 4 sessions on Sunday. I went for the interview on Saturday.
  • The working conditions aren’t great. The classrooms put me in mind of cells. Concrete walls and tiny. The equipment ( e.g. overhead monitors ) doesn’t always work.
  • The centre is chaotic, managed on the fly. The manager / head teacher couldn’t tell in advance which room I’d be in for one of the four sessions.
  • The pay is low by industry standards. About NZD $10.40 per 45-minute session.

But, it’s a start, and will go toward making the rent without having to further deplete savings.

The kids are a delight. Keen to learn, and sometimes with pretty good English. Ages 6 to about 12. So no horrible adolescents.

It’s all grist for the mill, teaching experience.

That all might change quickly, and I may get no further teaching hours.

I find that out tomorrow. I think.