Thursday 7 November 2013

Whether the weather is Important...

Before I came to live in South East Asia, I thought everyone was obsessed with the weather.  Little did I know that in this part of the world, no one bothers to look at the next day's forecast because it really doesn’t matter. 

In Sandakan, each day the temperature hovers around a high of 33 to 35 degrees and a low of 24, give or take a degree  with the chance of a thundery storm or two.  That’s it.  You could use the same forecast every single day of the year and 99% of the time be spot on. 

Apple and Android  have a hard time selling weather apps in this part of the world. 

Only diehards like me keep an eye on the weeks' weather predictions in the off chance a catastrophic event may manifest.  But this is the “Land Below the Wind”.  So as the name implies  nothing much happens out of the norm. 

In Southern Australia where in some places (Melbourne) you can have 4 seasons in one day, it can be a challenge to know what to wear - raincoat or sunscreen.  Not so here , t-shirts and shorts are the uniform of choice for me.

Some of us crave for endless summers that warm the bones and make us turn golden brown.  But not this little bunny. Give me cool dry air any day.  Hot and sticky is only appealing in a photograph  from a travel magazine.  Try going for a walk and becoming a ball of sweat within 50 metres - no siree.

I exercised a lot more at home because of the weather. If I go for a walk here it must start at sunrise and finish before 7 am if I want to feel at all comfortable. 

When rain arrives in Adelaide, it’s treated as a sense of occasion.  In a city with a rainfall of less than 600 mm a year, every drop is a godsend.  People’s whole attitude changes if it quenches their gardens and flows steadily into their water tanks.  Not quite dancing in the streets but close.  The farmers rejoice for another chance to pay off their bills to keep the wolves at bay.

Thundery squalls - lashing winds, torrential downpours, no one blinks an eye lid here for a place that gets over 3000 mm of rain a year. Water conservation, what's that? 

In places that are cooler than the tropics the topic of weather is very important.  It's used as a conversation starter. 

“Good morning, isn’t it bitter today? The wind rips right through you.” 

“What a beautiful day - spring is in the air.”

Boy meets girl.   “Ahh bloody hot today and by the way, I think you’re beautiful.”

Boy meets girl 2. “Your eyes are like this stunning Spring morn-  sparklingly clear and serene.”

Yes, beginning the day isn’t the same without commenting on the weather.

Beautiful sunset on a clear day

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