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Readers’ column: ‘Air-conditioning in Singapore is driving me bonkers!’

By: Ann McCutcheon

It started with the game-playing: Hubby switching it on before we go to bed; me turning it off while he’s in the bathroom brushing his teeth; him switching it back on as he snuggles under the lightweight doona; me programming the remote so it turns off in the middle of the night.

I’m talking about the air-conditioner.

To be fair, and to prove to you I’m not in the slightest bit crazy, I wholeheartedly agree air-conditioning has its place here in Singapore. Okay, it’s a downright necessity. Let’s face it, walking into one of the city’s gazillion malls isn’t just about enjoying a spot of retail therapy, but dare I say it’s equally about getting out of the heat into something altogether sublime.

Even if it means you know it’s only a matter of time before you wished you’d brought along a cardigan.

air conditioning in singapore 

And therein lies my point.

Air-conditioning has become the bane of my existence, and nowhere more so than in the bedroom. And while I do happen to know a bit about sleep hygiene, as it’s called, which persists in pointing out that a cool, dark room gives a better night’s sleep, I certainly don’t recall reading anywhere the word “refrigerated”. Even the doona – lightweight, remember – doesn’t cut it. Yes, Hubby and I get to snuggle up without breaking into a sweat-fest, definitely the best bit in all this unfortunate happenstance; and no, we don’t have ceiling fans and nor does the landlord intend to install them this side of the next millennium.

But, and I’m getting to the crux of the matter here, it’s that blasted air conditioner I blame squarely for drying out not only my throat, but my skin, giving even the Kalahari Desert a run for its money.

Hubby thinks I’m bonkers, but I tell you he isn’t the one going through face cream by the skip load.

So, being somewhat proactive, I bought one of those air-humidifiers – a small one to sit on my bedside table with its nozzle strategically pointed towards my pillow.

To be honest, it’s a bit noisy.

And its little blue light practically lights up the whole room.

To boot, Hubby has put an end to our games, stating the air-con stays on or he’s off to the spare room. (He didn’t have to get narky about it.)

Needless to say, my options here are limited. Either I buy shares in the face cream company or I come up with something else.

I try pulling the doona up over my face. Can’t breathe.

I put my head under my pillow. Sore neck.

What I really need is something like a light cloth over my face, draped so I can still breathe but can’t be woken in the middle of the night from cold air blowing onto my skin.

When the going gets desperate, the desperate get going. It turns out the only suitable piece of cloth I can find at one o’clock in the morning is in Hubby’s underwear drawer. The Calvin Kleins do the trick beautifully and the result is a good night’s sleep.

Unsubstantiated of course, Hubby still thinks I’m insane.