Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seasonal Discomforts and Discomfiture

No matter how long you live overseas, some things you never get used to. For me, those things include days of the week (repeat after me: Saturday is Monday, Wednesday is Friday, and Friday is Sunday. I've lived it for three years, and it still makes no sense, and I still leave people standing around when I say I'll see them Tuesday and what I meant was Sunday).

Also on the list of the International Incomprehensible, though, is temperature. I'm a Fahrenheit boy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. All these years outside the U.S. of A. and I still have no idea what those infernal degrees actually mean. Oh, I know that water freezes at 0 and boils at 100, but anything in between? A more or less complete mystery.

Without my familiar frame of reference, I'm now reaching the point where I'm floating free of common sense, as well, when it comes to temperature. These last two weeks or so have been, by local standards, fairly non-balmy. I've been running around in sweaters and scarves, burying myself under afghans when home and piles of quilts when sleeping, all the while bemoaning the total lack of heating hereabouts.

And throughout, I've been moaning, to anyone who would listen, "My God, what are we supposed to do? It's eighteen degrees!" as if I could hear the wolves approaching over the ice floes.

Today I finally had the bright idea of finding an online converter to find out just exactly how bitterly icy it really was.

I stand before you now, somewhat shamefaced, in the realization that that the dread 18 degrees is in fact just shy of 65 real degrees, or just about exactly what we used to think of as beach weather back in my northern home town.

I think my blood must have thinned after a decade in the Southern Hemisphere.


  1. i too, muscato have the same problem. when i go to canada,they use celsius to measure temp. its very confusing...

  2. Ha! I just bear in mind that anything over 20ºC is too hot!