The Difficulty of Imagining Weather
This year marks my ten year anniversary of living in Australia, hurray! For a decade now I’m talking to my parents on a weekly basis. Amongst many other things we devote two minutes (at least) on the respective weather. They tell me what it’s like in Hamburg. I talk about Perth (or wherever else I am). The truth is: neither me nor my folks get much out of these two minutes. It’s because of the difficulty of imagining weather.While opposing seasons are tricky to get your head around I give you another example. The heat wave at the beginning of this week, which has cooked Perth’s people, dried out your gardens and made commuters longingly gaze at the beach, has passed. It’s now 30 degrees and it feels, well, a bit chilly actually.
Tell a northern European 30 degrees is chilly and they’ll fall laughing of their chairs. Tell them 15 degrees in Winter (with no heating or insulation in your house) is cold and they will scoff at you and say “you don’t know what you’re talking about, that’s warm!”
Anyway, back to the heat wave. It inspired me to write about how to stay cool in a heat wave. I even added the challenge of what to do during a road trip where there’s little or no access to refrigerators, aircondition, fans and ice-cream, cubes or chilled towels.
I started writing the post and today I’ve run out of steam already. I’m not hot and sticky sitting at my desk with sweat dripping off my forehead and I’m wondering what my urgency was all about yesterday. I realise the core challenge with preparing for a travelling in a different region or country is the difficulty of imagining weather.
Will 30 degrees feel hot? If it’s hot would you still need to wear long sleeves to protect you from a stinging sun? Even studying temperature and rain fall charts make it difficult to really get a grasp of what to pack. So, here my ultimately unconventional ways of preparing for the weather at your travel destination:
- Ask someone who’s already travelled to the same destination during the same time of the year what they wore. See that I didn’t say “ask them what they packed”? That would be silly. They have bought what they needed instead of bringing it along.
- Ask them whether there was anything they packed and end-up not needing at all.
- Even better: look at their holiday photos. Do they look comfortable? Are they hot and sweaty of blue from the cold?
If you can’t find anyone who can help, well, you’re on. Or perhaps do ou have some other clever ideas of how to overcome the difficulty of imagining weather? I’d love to know, because my mum will surely question my sanity when I tell her I’m a bit chilly in 30 degrees…