Adjusting to a “local” level

Posted by in Challenge, Change, Finances, Life

Human beings are known for their ability to adjust. They do it (of course with the proverbial exception to the rule) swift, and smooth.
One thing from one of our previous travels comes clearly to mind. We did a dive in Moalboal, Philippines. The air temperature was 26 degrees Celcius, and so was the water temperature. Upon returning to the boat our dive guide started shivering like crazy, he wrapped his arms around himself to warm himself up and his lips turned blue-ish. He was terribly cold. Kaisa and I looked at each other and couldn’t believe it. It was 26 degrees! How can anyone be cold in 26 degrees?

It’s called adjustment
Stay in a certain climate for a certain amount of time and your body adjusts to the average temperature. When the temperature drops below the average you have gotten so used to, you get cold. Having lived in Finland for a very long time the average temperature I’ve gotten used to (not that I’m ever cold, really, I’ve been called a radiator more than once) is around 10-15 degrees Celcius, and I don’t shy away from temperatures well under the freezing point (Finland is known to have temperatures in winter of down to -35 to -40 degrees Celcius) either.
Here on Bali I haven’t really experienced it yet, but Kaisa has. The average temperature here has been a pretty constant 30-32 degrees Celcius and the other night we were sitting down at a restaurant for dinner and the temperature had dropped to 25-26 degrees after some heavy rain, and Kaisa noted that it was getting quite chilly.
Funny, isn’t it? We left Finland in winter, with temperatures around or under zero and we were fine. Being here for a month has thrown our perception of temperature completely around.

But it’s not only physical things to which we adjust. Also economical issues come up.
We ordered pizza in the restaurant we were at. The average price for pizza back in Finland (and not even a big one!) would set you back about 12-14€ (190,000-220,000 Indonesian Rupiah). We were looking at the menu, looking at the prices, and (having been here for about a month and having eaten in a good amount of places) we looked at each other and said “wow, this is not the cheapest of places”. 70,000 Rupiah for one of the most expensive pizzas on the menu, with a diameter of about 30cms. That’s about 4,40€.

The moment we said it, we looked at each other again and started laughing.
We’re “complaining” about a pizza almost too big for one person to eat by himself at twice the size and 1/3rd of the price we’d get them back home.

Being away from home does crazy things with you. But interesting things.
You just have to learn how to see things in the right perspective, I guess…