Seasons

When it’s close to thirty degrees during the day all year round, and rains fairly often, it’s easy to think a place like Brunei doesn’t have seasons.  Our first year here was quite wet during the dry season, which made the distinction even harder to spot.  But now that we’re on our second time around the sun, it’s getting easier to spot some of the differences.  And the fact that a sniffly annoying cold seems to be making its way around the house lets me know that we are in the middle of a season change right now. We have also noticed:

  • Ant season runs from August to November.  After taking over our kitchen for months, they seem to have abandoned ship fairly rapidly in the last couple of days (yay!)
  • December and January are for rain, and lots of it.  A perfect time to escape to a lovely New Zealand summer (I am getting just a little bit excited.
  • Durian season is at its peak during July.  The market can be fairly overpowering when they’re around (although with all the dried fish, the markets are never without smells)
  • Mango season seems to come around about October, and there are still quite a few in the markets now.  Mangoes are not very popular in The Engineer’s Household though, so I could easily be wrong on this one.

When you’re used to four pretty distinct seasons – warm, sometimes even hot, summer and the wonderful berries and veges; cool and crisp autumn when the apples are at their best; grey and dreary winter perfect for soup and roasts; rainy spring full of lambs and daffodils and asparagus – the seemingly seasonless year can feel very strange.  And since I’m not really a summer person, I find it quite relentless.

I think, though, that I romanticise New Zealand’s seasons.  I sit here in the muggy heat wishing for morning frosts and boot weather and big snuggly jerseys.  But my mind manages to eliminate the feeling of sitting at a desk all day drinking hot water just to try and warm up my hands.  I forget the mad rush too and from the shower in the morning, and snuggling back into bed afterwards to recover from the journey to the un-warmed sections of the house.  My skin wishes for a breeze, but not for the biting wind and rain that winter can bring.

Wasai Kadir Recreational Park, Labi, Brunei, March 2013.

Wasai Kadir Recreational Park, Labi, Brunei, March 2013.

So today I am grateful for some of the things that an endless summer can bring:

  • We can go for a walk most days without wrapping up warm (even if it can only be morning or evening)
  • I don’t have to think about layering baby clothes, unless we go to the supermarket. I also don’t have to think about what size she might be in different seasons and buy appropriately.  As little as possible, all year round, pretty much does the trick!
  • It’s never too cold to get out of bed and go to the loo in the middle of the night
  • We can get wonderful fresh watermelon all year round
  • I can swim outdoors all year round, and there’s not even that slow-adjustment time before you get used to the water temperature.  It’s warm from the start

And I’m also excited to visit the slightly less endless New Zealand summer in just five weeks.

Lyall Bay Beach, Wellington, NZ,  January 2012.

Lyall Bay Beach, Wellington, NZ, January 2013.

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