In this era of global warming and rising temperatures, keeping cool has become a
priority for many people all over the world. Many resort to unusual ways of
doing so, like dipping in the fountains found all over the major cities of the
world. Others go to some lengths to swim in their own pools filled with ice
cubes. In Malaysia, the heat is something that we have grown accustomed to. Yet,
there is still the need to keep cool nonetheless.
The conventional ways of
keeping cool include sitting in front of the fan or staying enclosed in an
air-conditioned room. Both ensure that one is cool, but upon exiting the room of
such cool comfort, the heat becomes even more oppressive. As a result, many
prefer to spend the greater part of the searing afternoons in shopping centers,
cinemas or even coffee clubs. Hence, it is not unusual for the shopping centers
and coffee houses to be crowded even during office hours.
In Asian countries, it is believed that certain foods are 'cool', while
others are 'heaty'. In the latter category are foods that are fried, chocolates,
cakes and pastries. 'Cool' foods include birds' nest, winter melon and green
bean soup. Thus, if one intends to keep 'cool', he will consume more of the food
in the second category. It may seem ludicrous
to a non-Asian to believe that foods have such qualities, but I am testimony to
the efficacy of such `cool' foods.
Figuratively, keeping cool can also refer to keeping one's anger in check.
Thus, to keep cool under trying circumstances, one can try a few things. The
first is to practice breathing exercises. This means that at the point of
feeling an oncoming flare-up, you should calm yourself down inwardly and
regulate your breathing. Try to count to twenty slowly and you will feel less
likely to explode in fury. Otherwise, you could also try thinking of pleasant
things when you are riled up. It could range
from beautiful surroundings to someone or something that you love.
Another way of looking at the phrase `keeping cool' is looking
chic. It can
refer to both adopting the latest hip fashions or an attitude of icy arrogance.
Both are popular with teenagers today, who try to ape
famous people or beautiful models. Thus, there are really many ways
of keeping cool, both literally and figuratively.