If I tell people who knows Malaysia that I am going to the east coast at this time of the year for sort of like a holiday, they must say that I am crazy. It is the monsoon season and there is really nothing much to do except to sit in the room, read a good book, lay back in bed, go for a massage, have good and cheap seafood meals (the curry crab was undeniably superb!), listen to some nice music, talk to my wife and catch up with each other,…… errm…… okay, that sounded like it was nice. But it is true, it rained everyday and at almost every hour.
We stayed at the Eastern Pavalion, Holiday Villa in Cherating and it is really a very nice place. Comfortable and hospitable. Only thing is do not eat at their in-house restaurant. The food is not good and very expensive while really good and cheap food is available just outside the resort’s gate. The stay at the resort was actually a prize my wife won in a photography competition and had to be used by end of January 06. We therefore had no choice but to go during this time instead of wasting the coupons.
The rain is a very weird thing and we human beings can really tolerate it. Like Sai observed in “Hikaru no Go” in one of the scenes involving rain, if human beings can go to the moon, how come an umbrella is still an umbrella? Yes, it is amazing that the umbrella technology did not improve very much in the last 100 years or so. I am not talking so much as the technology in making better umbrellas but the fact that umbrellas are still not doing a good job in making sure that we do not get as wet as we get now.
For example, the umbrella only shields your head from rain but from your belly downwards, you get all wet. When you get into the car, the umbrella will ensure that the side of your car gets all wet because the folding of the umbrella is so clumsy. In the car, the umbrella drips and your car gets all wet. When you take an umbrella for two persons, it is almost certain that each person will get half their body wet. Sometimes, it is so frustrating, we might as well get rid of the umbrella and do the “Singin’ in the Rain” dance sequence and sort of try to enjoy the rain instead.
How is it possible to make an umbrella or something to that effect, call it rain coat (which is also not very effective but I somehow enjoy wearing a rain coat. It makes me feel more powerful for reasons I could not understand) that fulfills these requirements?:
1. When put into effect, this article will shield the human body completely from getting wet, even the shoes
2. This article must be easy to carry (best is no need to carry), easy to store (best is no need to store), easy to put on (e.g. you can put it on easily in the car before going into the rain).
3. This article must be made affordable to the common people.
4. Water does not stick on this article. Therefore, for example, when you go into your car, you will not be afraid that your car seat will get wet while wearing this article because it is completely dry no matter how you soak it in water.
5. The raw materials for making this article must not be too scarce (it is as common as say, making soap or the modern day umbrella).
6. This article, when put on, must not obstruct movement and communication. People can still talk to each other, can still touch each other, can still hug each other (without getting wet, of course), and if, say. attacked by a dog, can still wave a stick and hurt the dog.
Oh, by the way, if you will, you can check out the history of umbrellas in William Sangster’s “Umbrellas and their History”.
I hope the rain is not getting too deep into my skull…… if I get to invent this thing, I will try not to charge you guys too much money for it……
A good book, freshly brewed coffee and good company are all you need in bad weather