A Guide to Surviving the Monsoon in Dhaka
Monsoon showed up a little late this year, bringing the typical heavy downpours, thunderstorms, and muddy roads. Sure, watching it rain from the window with a nice warm cup of tea in hand is utterly delightful in this season. But for those who need to get out of the house every single day despite the pouring rain, especially in Dhaka, the feeling is quite the opposite.
Being outdoors this season in Dhaka, where the roads are all slippery and filled with puddles, can feel quite icky and lead to a number of problems. So here are a few words of advice about the unwanted occurrences that are likely to happen during monsoon and tips on how to avoid them.
Carrying umbrellas and raincoats
The weather can be very unpredictable during the rainy season. On a bright sunny day, you decide to go out without any precautions after checking that there's no chance of rain on the forecast app. But the next thing you know, you're caught in a downpour.
To avoid circumstances like this, never forget to carry a small folding umbrella. This won't even take much of your bag's space. Forgetting to take your umbrella after leaving it out to dry is a pretty common mistake, so stay alert to avoid that.
You can also carry a lightweight raincoat as umbrellas don't always provide the best protection, especially if you are sitting on a bike or rickshaw. Neither the hood nor the plastic sheet that is provided on a rickshaw is fully effective at providing protection from the heavy rain. So, a raincoat might come in handy in times like these. You can also carry a synthetic rain cover for your backpack to keep all the things inside it protected.
Protecting electronic devices
It won't be that big of a deal if you get a bit wet in rain. But if your devices are at risk of being soaked as well, then it's a big problem. Therefore, during this season, always keep Ziplock bags or regular plastic bags with you so that you can keep your phones and other electronic devices inside them. This is also a great way to reuse plastic bags instead of throwing them out and polluting the environment.
If your phone does get wet somehow, don't panic and put it in a fresh Ziplock bag with silica gel sachets (the little packets that come with bags and shoes). This will help to absorb some of the water as silica gel is a drying agent.
Wearing weather-appropriate clothes
If you have to walk around Dhaka while it's pouring, be prepared to face revolting situations. A car driving through a puddle, splashing dirty water all over you and leaving your clothes wet and dirty is a common scenario.
Shoes and pants suffer the most in this case, which is why you should avoid wearing light-coloured pants. Additionally, wear waterproof sandals instead of fancy shoes and socks when you're on the road. But don't wear flip-flops because they will surely spatter your pants with mud.
It'll be best if you carry shoes and a spare pair of pants in your bag so that you can change the dirty ones after reaching your destination. Note that wearing breathable cotton outfits this season is a smart choice as the fabric will be easier to dry.
Staying alert on the road
It is pretty common for the roadways in Dhaka to flood during heavy rains because of the city's inadequate sewage and drainage systems. Walking or driving through these flooded roads is extremely dangerous as you cannot see if there are any holes or damage.
In that case, it would be best if you can take another route instead of trying to brave the damaged roads. That is assuming you can spare some time to make the detour. Regardless of which route you choose, be cautious when walking on a rainy day so that you don't slip on the road and hurt yourself.
In case you own a vehicle, make sure it's in good condition. The last thing you want in a downpour is for your car to break down on one of Dhaka's congested roads. It's also quite difficult to find a ride when you don't have your own vehicle on rainy days, so always get out of your house earlier than usual.
Looking after your health
The monsoon season is ideal for the spread of germs and viruses, which is why people can easily fall sick. Diseases like dengue and other waterborne diseases tend to break out during this damp season. To prevent falling victim to these diseases, good hygiene practices and cleanliness are extremely crucial.
One of the most common causes of catching cold and fever this season is not drying oneself after getting wet in rain, especially if you are sitting in an air-conditioned room with wet hair and clothes. So, make sure to carry a small towel or a pack of tissues in your bag to dry yourself after you've reached work or school. It is also important to change wet socks and clean your feet to avoid any fungal infections as they tend to get dirty on the road.
Monsoon weather also causes excessive sweating because of the humidity, which is why it's important to use tissues and spritz some perfume after a certain time to feel refreshed.
Following these simple measures will keep you safe for sure and help you enjoy the season to the fullest!
Nadeemah always wraps her head around the thought of what she's going to eat next and thinks that the glass at her bedside table is half-full. Say hi at: firstname.lastname@example.org