AIR CONDITIONING ASSAULT: STAYING COOL IN MALAYSIA
Upon my death, I hereby request to be sat upright in the back of a long-distance Malaysian bus. Then, when the day comes and they find a cure for whatever it is that I succumbed to, I can be unfrozen and enjoy a nice bowl ofHokkein mee in Penang.
Buy a ticket on a Malaysian bus or ferry and you may just get a seat next to Walt Disney. Yes, Malaysia is a sweltering tropical country, and the nation’s relative prosperity now allows for some extra travel comforts. This certainly includes air conditioning, which is heavily utilized and paraded out for travelers, allowing for us to experience a bit of the Andes right in the heart of Southeast Asia.
Some tips for surviving a bus or ferry trip in Malaysia. Remember that women constitute 2/3 of all cold-related deaths. So, ladies- take note:
- The stages of frostbite go from: red, white, hard and on to blisters and then, finally, blackened. Consider hopping off the bus before fully blackened, as this could mean irreversible damage that could lead to amputation
- Hypothermia can be as serious as a coma. To prevent it, cover yourself with whatever is at your disposal. This could include newspapers, toilet paper (if your bus has a WC), maps or your travel brochures. Don’t be shy to cozy up to the stranger next to you, as body heat will be invaluable on your journey.
- Once unconscious, do not force a travelmate to drink fluids, as this poses the risk of choking
- A hot breakfast will go a long way. Meals such as oatmeal or pancakes are necessary and can be found atMcDonalds and other western fast food restaurants. Canned beefs and tuna can also be easily opened and consumed in an emergency.
- Most travel insurance companies will offer a “Malaysian Air Conditioning” coverage option. Be sure to check it if Malaysia is on your itinerary.
Malaysia is an amazingly diverse Asian destination and I highly recommend it to all travelers in the region. Most visitors will not succumb to frostbite or hypothermia, but it does happen. So, educate and protect yourself before hitting the highway.