After my brain blurt here, a couple of the comments precipitated a thought in my head: it is a rather elusive notion that’s come to me several times in Bangkok, but I’ve never stopped long enough to pin it down. Sheepish said: “And thinking about Christmas already oh dear, is it really only 7 weeks away?” And Angie asked: “Can you believe [Christmas is] sneaking up already?!”
Well, no, actually, I can’t.
I’ve had this problem since arriving here: I never know where I am in the year. I mean, instinctively I don’t have a sense of time of the year. I have to think consciously ‘which month is this?’ This didn’t happen to me in the UK – I always just knew roughly what month it was. I’ve tried to work out what it is that grounded me in a sense of time and place and all I can deduce is that it’s down to climate: the seasonal variation that I knew in the UK, gave me an awareness of where in the calendar year I was.
I worried slightly about moving to a place with no distinct seasons. No seasons that I, as a Brit, understand anyway. Thailand does have seasons: the three seasons are ‘hot’, ‘really hot’ and ‘hot and wet’ – that’s the technical explanation, anyway. But these seasons aren’t sufficiently different to give you an intuitive sense of where you are in the year.
The visual stimulus in the materialistic world also gives us the idea that Christmas is approaching, or Easter is on its way, but those visual triggers occur in Bangkok too, (see the Halloween mall pictures) and I still have no intrinsic sense of whether it’s May, August or December. Perhaps it’s the lack of crocuses, daffodils or bluebells in my natural environment?
We live less than ever in a life that’s dictated to by the seasons. We can buy strawberries all year round and even the seasons themselves are blurry thanks to global warming, but perhaps I am more in tune with nature than I realised.