Thursday, 7 March 2013

Am I Hydrated?


So here I am in Muscat, Oman and I am going to talk about two of my favourite topics: 
Health and Safety and toilets.
I can hear you groaning – but bear with me.
On the work front I am having an extremely frustrating time. I won’t go into that now but I will tell you about the toilets at the office I am working at.
They are clean and fresh but adorned with laminated Health and Safety posters advising people about how to wash your hands and warning about the dangers of spreading germs. 
However, one of these posters has actually proved quite useful. Let me tell you why.
As you can probably imagine, Oman is a very hot country. At the moment it is quite bearable – a cool 28 °C – though earlier this week it crept up to 33 °C. I have heard a number of horror stories about exactly how hot it can get in the summer with temperatures reaching the dizzy heights of 45 to 50 °C. If that isn’t bad enough, Oman is also a very humid country which means the temperature and humidity combine to make life very unpleasant for locals and visitors alike.
All this means that we have the exact reverse of the UK when it comes to how to deal with the unpleasant weather.
In the UK, during winter, our cars are covered in frost and ice, so we start our cars, turn the heating up full blast and spend quite a few minutes de-icing the car. We then sometimes have to drive in gloves because the steering wheel is too cold.
Also, because it is cold and wet and miserable outside, we tend to stay indoors more in our lovely warm, heated and cosy homes. We rely heavily on our boilers, central heating and gas fires to keep us warm.
In Oman it is the complete opposite. In the summer, it is so hot outside that people rush out and start their cars, removing the heat deflectors from their windscreens and switching on their air conditioning up to full blast to turn their cars into mobile fridges. Sometimes the steering wheel is so hot that they have to wear gloves to drive until the car has cooled down.
Because it is so hot and humid outside, the people stay indoors in their cool and comfortable homes. They rely heavily on their air-conditioning to keep them cool.
I’ve heard stories about people walking for a few minutes outside and becoming absolutely drenched in sweat.
Which leads me back to the toilet poster.
Because it gets so hot and sweaty here, there is a very good chance of becoming dehydrated. The poster informs you that you must drink plenty of water and that you can tell exactly how dehydrated you are by the colour of your pee. And if you are not sure of that, there is a colour chart to show you.
Being a man it is easy to look down and see the hue of you urine. I would imagine that women have to wait until they have finished.
Once again, in order to bring this useful information to you, dear reader, I have risked humiliation and some very awkward questions to show you the colour chart. 
Yes – that’s right. I have taken my camera into the Gents once more and taken a photo of it. 
Here it is.


If you can’t read the catchy slogan – it says:
Healthy pee is 1 to 3. 4 to 8 you must hydrate.
And for once I find this useful because I am certainly not used to the temperatures.
Of course, the other posters that tell us exactly how to wash, lather and dry our hands are utterly ridiculous and an insult to those of us who have common sense.
I am here for a further two weeks and have to return again in April for another week. I just hope that I am not asked to come back when the temperature and humidity are unbearable. 
I don’t want to have to check the colour chart in every toilet I visit.
And I am sure you are curious about whether I am hydrated or not.
Yes I am – falling comfortably in the 1 to 3 range.
I’ll bet you’re relieved to hear that, aren’t you?




15 comments:

River said...

That healthy pee chart is a very good idea, I can imagine many people traveling through unaccustomed heat would forget to drink enough water. I forget myself sometimes, especially at work, and as you know, Australia is a hot country. We're currently suffering, (well, I'm suffering, others are loving the heat) through 34C-35C, plus humidity with overhead clouds holding the heat down and predictions of 38C by Monday. I've filled several water bottles and put them n the fridge. We have the same laminated, illustrated, wash-your-hands posters in our toilets at work. I wouldn't have thought they were necessary, but OCHS says they must be there.

Kath Lockett said...

I am relieved to hear it, actually, because similar temps are reached in Australia and it can be quite shocking to, um, 'notice the colour' of one's one, um, toilet 'gifts' when it's hot. Water and more water!

Big D said...

I may put that poster up in my khazi. You never know when it might be useful.

The Elephant's Child said...

' I’ll bet you’re relieved to hear that, aren’t you?'
Perhaps not as relieved as you were to discover that by relieving yourself you could readily check your hydration levels. To be fair, I understand that if you wait until you are thirsty you could be seriously dehydrated. So perhaps these charts (as well as being interesting) DO serve a useful purpose.

River said...

*sigh*
I left a longish comment in the wee hours this morning when I couldn't sleep, passed the verification and everything. I'm not retyping it because I can't remember exactly what I said.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I think its a good idea too - particularly for somebody like me.

Today its 32C so a little hotter and definitely quite humid.

When I return in April I expect it might reach the heady heights of 38C.

I won't like that.

:-)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Yes - water water and more water.

We get two free bottles at the hotel I'm staying at every day and there is plenty at work.

I'm stashing it away like a camel - well not EXACTLY like a camel.

:-)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

Good idea. If like me you like the odd beer or two it could be quite useful.

:0)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I tend to drink a lot of water in the UK as well - even when I'm not thirsty.

Health and Safety - useful for once.

:-)

Cheers

PM

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi again River,

As you can see - it worked. I had to restore the verification thingy because my mail box was filling up with spam spam and more spam.

Sorry...

:-)

Cheers

PM

Anji said...

I'm a lazy water drinker. Toilet blue doesn't help when you need to read the pee.

Keep up the good work

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Anji.

Never thought of that.

:-)

Cheers

PM

Mind Of Mine said...

I like this, its useful, practical and informative. I hate signs that instruct you how to wash your hands, we all know this right?

However, we don't always know what color your pee should be to determine how hydrated you.

Fair play Oman, fair play. I guess when its practically brown, you have cancer?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi MoM,

No. I think it means you are a mummy.

:-)

Cheers PM

River said...

@Anji; if the blue water turns bright green your pee may be too yellow, so drink more water.