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Climate and Masuk Angin

A friend saw my husband's instgram of me washing the dishes on our back porch and wondered what the temperature was that would have me wearing long sleeves. The locals I talk to would explain that Salatiga is cold and so long sleeves are necessary. Today an office worker saw that Elly's nose was running and commented that the local cold weather must be too much for her. Another woman saw Judah crying after I stopped him playing in the rain and commented that he must be crying because he's so cold.

Trust me, by our standards there is no need for long sleeves here to keep warm! It is hot and humid and a short walk leaves us all sweating. Indonesians believe that being damp and that moving air all cause “masuk angin”, literally, the "air entering." Essentially they mean, “You'll catch your death of a cold.” Indonesians sell medicine for masuk angin, turn fans off, don't go out with wet hair, and... yes, wear long sleeves in 90 degree weather.

We have found that you do acclimatize quickly. Our first night was absolutely stifling here and we bought fans for our house the next day (AC is not an option). Between the fans and opening up doors to let in the breeze during the day, it's very pleasant most of the time. Now we feel cold when we walk into AC and find ourselves turning the fans down in our house! On a breezy night after a rain, Judah will come in to me and complain, “Mommy, I am so cold.” Apparently, he's learned to be afraid of masuk angin as well.

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