21 April 2007

Summer. Again.

It's that time of year once again. The time of year when my hibernation begins. The time of year when I do not want to move and I groan at the thought of any activity, especially one that may take place in the sun.

I do not like summer.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say that I hate it.

This is true for two reasons:

1. I am really, really white. I have lived upon this Earth for nearly 37 years and I have never had a tan. My skin simply does not do it. I am given the choice between white and red. Since sunburns hurt and itch, I tend to go with white. I wear sunscreen every day. When I know I will be outside for any length of time, I even bump it up to 60 spf. And yet I burn.

2. During the cooler months people are always amazed at how I can stroll about in a jacket while they are wrapped up in a winter wool coat, hat, scarf and mittens. They always ask "Aren't you cold?" And while I do feel the cold, I do not mind it. During the summer, others likely feel just as hot as I do, but they do not mind feeling hot. Well, I mind it. Quite a lot, actually.

If my world would just remain at a constant 60 degrees (15 degrees Celsius) I would be a very happy camper indeed.

Well, actually not. Because "camping" tends to be an activity that involves heat and bugs. But you know what I mean.

Back in the United States I would deal with summer by going from my air conditioned house to my air conditioned car to my air conditioned work...

Well, you get the picture.

That is not an option for me. See, because Europeans do not "do air conditioning." It is not needed here. It never gets too hot. Well, occasionally there is a bit of a hot spell, but it's rare and goes away quickly.

At least that is what we hear over and over again.

Here's a question? At what stage do people acknowledge that "rare and unusual" heat waves that occur every summer and last for longer periods of time each year may actually have become the norm?

Today we went shopping to prepare for the upcoming summer. We purchased some heavy duty fans and (dare I type the words? Yes, I do...) two window air conditioners to be used when we simply cannot stand it anymore and the air refuses to cool at night.

There, I said it.

And I refuse to feel ashamed.


Sara said...

i cant sympathize in that i love summer (must have something to do with growing up in the central valley of California), but i can tell you that this summer will be at least the fourth in a row that Europeans stand around and talk about what "unseasonably warm weather" we are having.

Expat Traveler said...

oh hey sara grew up in the same area as me! Or at least when I went to university...

And I love spring and summer. Canadians think the same way with aircons, but we actually have one for our room when it gets too hot.

I feel you there.

Just make sure you take advantage of the Limmat River on long weekends and late summer eves. It should be alright for your skin...

I know the shade as I need it too!

You are lucky Zurich/Switzerland is full of trees!

CanadianSwiss said...

I love the summer, and I don't mind the heat that much, but I can understand the fact that having the choice between white or sunburned is no fun AT ALL.

Pointless Drivel said...

mate controlled environments. Why suffer with heat or cold, when simply adjusting a knob or lever will make you comfortable?

When I bought my roadster, it was in the middle of an amazingly hot and muggy spell here in Minnesota, and I quickly learned that, even with the top down, the air conditioning can be effective, if you aim the jets just right.

I love that bought air.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - can't stand real heat, particularly when there are no fans around.

Kirk said...

For what it's worth, we found that summers in Basel weren't anywhere near as hot as summers here (although we were lucky enough to miss the heat wave of summer 2003). The biggest difference is that evenings usually cooled off so that even if the day was hot, you could open windows and it would be comfortable at night (which is easy for me to say since Gretchen was in the house all day when it was hot while I was at my air conditioned office). In DC it's so hot and muggy and mosquitoey (if that's a word) in the summer that you would never dare open a window.

Global Librarian said...

I know that other places are hotter than Switzerland.

Please note that I am not living in one of those places!

There ain't no way in hell that I would live in the Southern part of the United States ever again.

When I first moved to Southern Georgia, I had heat stroke. Gotta love the electrolytes they pump into your system at the hospital. After that I kept Gatorade with me always. When I started to feel the heat exhaustion hitting, I would drink some of the Gatorade. My body does not deal well with extreme heat. I literally shut down.

There is one memorably occasion in Topeka, KS in which the heat in the sun got to over 100 degrees fahrenheit. At least it was memorable for GLH. I do not actually remember it.

At one stage he turned to say something to me and I babbled incoherently at him. I do not remember anything until about 30 minutes later when I came back. GLH had taken me to an a/c restaurant to get some water. After I cooled off I once again became coherent, but I felt sick the rest of the day.

Jul said...

The secret to surviving summer here: frozen water bottles. Cuddle with them.

Kirk said...

One of the keys is opening and closing shutters in different parts of your apartment throughout the day to maximize breezes and minimize sunlight--the Swiss make an art form of this. And when in doubt, hie thee to a shady spot in the Alps where the breezes tend to be cooler!