Summer As It Is Now

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It’s hot today. We actually already had a couple of pretty hot days this spring. The rest of this week seems to get really hot though and that means: Summer has finally arrived!

But don’t be fooled! Our corner of Australia does more or less what it wants when it comes down to weather. It’s something I’ve learned pretty quickly. I was used to pack away the winter clothes once summer arrived, although we had the occasional days where it actually snowed a little bit on top of the mountains, sometimes even down to the village, but it never got to the point where you felt you had to take the entire gear down from the attic.

I would never put away winter clothes here in summer. Not even during a heatwave.

summer

Summer is crazy here. It’s crazy beautiful, crazy fun and sometimes crazy hot. And there are crazy temperature changes. It’s not unusual that temperatures drop from mid 30ies (that’s in the high 80ies to mid 90ies) right down to a chilly 15C (about 60F). Yep. And that in 20minutes. Doesn’t give you much time to adjust.

While summer back home used to look lusciously green, down here it very quickly gets dry brown. Or yellow. The green grass we get in winter and spring turns rapidly dry after the first one or two hot days. Something I found weird in the beginning. Even if we had days of rain, the grass will not recover. The roots are done and everything is quickly burned by the sun.

Hike snake2

That’s another huge difference between summer in Switzerland. The sun. It’s really strong. While I can easily sit in the sun for a while in the Northern Hemisphere summer without burning, I catch a sunburn here pretty quickly. And you can actually feel it. No excuse. No excuse for people to claim they didn’t realize that they got sunburned. Here you really need to Slip-Slap-Slop (the Australian Skin Cancer Council’s motto in regards to putting on sunscreen). And you have to repeat. You know how it feels when you put a magnifying glass above your skin? How the sun burns? That’s about how it feels.

Still, spending time outside is fantastic here. Usually you get a nice breeze from the ocean and as long as you can find some shade somewhere and take care of your skin (including your head) you should be fine.

Of course summer down here for me means spending it on the beach, in a park or doing a hike somewhere. Watch out though, the snakes come out when it gets warmer too…

Hike snake

But summer Down Under also means tennis! Nope, I’m not playing really but I love to watch and we do have some pretty awesome tournaments coming up, heading straight into the Australian Open. A fantastic event that’s totally worth a visit.

ausopen

Summer means the scent of BBQs all the time. Nothing better than to throw some shrimps on the barbie, or as other English speaking people would say: Put some prawns on the grill. It means seeing people walk around with barely no clothes on, all only wearing flipflops (or thongs as they call them here… so if someone invites you to come over and re dress codes mentions that casual with only thongs is fine, don’t feel weird…).

Summer in Australia also means the following:

  1. The best parking spot is determined by shade and not by distance… (usually they are FAR away…)
  2. Hot water comes out of both taps (yep, been there…)…
  3. You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron (one of the things you only experience once, then you just know…)
  4. The temperature drops below 32C and you feel chilly (something I would have never thought is possible, but believe me it actually happens…)
  5. You discover that in January and February it only takes two fingers to steer a car… (you just don’t want to risk burning the others too…)
  6. You discover that you can actually get sunburned through your windscreen… (maybe it’s just cooking…)
  7. You develop a fear of metal door handles… (or metal equipment on playgrounds… wonder who was the genius who decided to actually use metal material or black stuff on playgrounds in Australia…)
  8. You break a sweat the instance you step outside before 7am on certain days (it actually feels like walking into a hairdryer…)
  9. Your biggest bicycle accident fear is “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the road and getting cooked?”… (relax, someone will run you over before you get cooked…)
  10. You realize asphalt has a liquid state… (Yes! It gets so hot, it melts…)
  11. Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to prevent them from laying hard boiled eggs (Not sure if I would do that… breakfast ready made wouldn’t be such a bad thing…)
  12. The trees are whistling for dogs (…)
  13. While walking back barefoot to your car from any event, you do a tightrope act on the white lines in the car park (I am still waiting for the day the heat actually prevents people to walk around barefoot everywhere…)
  14. You catch a cold from having the aircon on full blast all night long (Been there…)
  15. You learn that Westfield Shopping Center’s aren’t just Shopping Center’s, they are temples to worship Air-Conditioning (if they actually turn the aircon on…)
  16. Sticking your head in the freezer and taking deep breaths is considered normal (It took me ages until I mentioned it to a new found Aussie friend and was surprised that she was not surprised…)
  17. A cup full of ice is considered a great snack (better than ice cream… it does not melt as fast… or it does not make such a mess when it melts…)
  18. A black out is life threatening because your aircon and your fans no longer work (as long as you remember your car in the car park and you make sure it has enough gas you can always escape to the car…)
  19. No one cares if you walk around with no shoes on (I do! I do! Do what you want at home but please put on shoes when you go to the supermarket…)
  20. You keep anything in the fridge, including potatoes, bread and clothing (yep…)
  21. People have enough left over beer cans to make a boat and compete in a regatta… (I did not know that but I am pretty sure they do…)
  22. The effort of toweling yourself off after a shower means you need another shower right away… (who needs a towel if the water drops just evaporate in no time?)
  23. You will wait patiently until the day it starts raining to go on a run (or you call it a bikram run…)
  24. You worry your ceiling fan is spinning so fast it will fly off and kill you (maybe your house just lifts off and brings you to a cooler place… like Antarctica or so… it is just around the corner…)

Source: Meanwhile In Australia

There’s one thing you should definitely never do in summer in Australia. Well, actually you should never do it anywhere: Leave your child or pet in the car.

 

I guess spending the summer Aussie style is now part of my world. If you’re interested to read about how the other seasons feel to me in comparison to how it used to be in Switzerland, you can check out the posts about winter in Switzerland and in Australia, about spring in Switzerland and in Australia.

Thanks for the idea, Corinne! Please check out Tiny Expats feature Show Your World.

https://tinyexpats.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/unknown.jpg?w=200&h=200

52 thoughts on “Summer As It Is Now

  1. As much as I’ve always wanted to go there and as much as I love the warmth, that may be a little too hot for me. We have crazy weather changes here in the midwestern US, but we rarely have that type of heat. Now, Switzerland on the other hand, looks magical! I’d love to go there – during the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another Aussie lesson! Things are so much different over there. Our summer heat wave is when it reaches 33C (it’s gone up to 38 before!). The image of the driver with the oven mitt is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We all love to talk about the weather, probably because it’s something we can’t control, unless you’re a conspiracy theorist!
    I did recognize some of the signs and cures for summer heat, as I or someone I know has used many of them in some part of the US at sometime or other. My friends who live in southern Oregon experience something close to the daily temperature swings you mention, though it takes more than a few minutes for their temps to change. Here in the South, our weather whiplash occurs over days. It will be over 70F here today but the high will drop to 40F or so by next weekend. We also have to get back in the shower on summer days due to re-occuring sweat, but that’s due to the high humidity which deposits water back on our skin from the outside rather than from the inside.
    I also recognized the summer signs of dead grass and snakes from stories my Arizona friends and family have told. In those deserts, though, the snakes and scorpions hide in shady spots during the day and invade the house only at night, which means they have to put shoes on in their homes just to get a late night glass of water!

    Liked by 1 person

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