[:en]It’s December and there is no trace left of the fact that it was ever Winter here in Sydney. The sun shines fiercely and in the eyes of the people you can see Summer’s getting close. When thinking of Australia, most people imagine all-year-round warm weather. And the locals seem happy to keep this myth alive for you.
But the thing is, we do have Winter in Australia. It’s just that this particular season is something that people here find 1. highly overrated and 2. a slight inconvenience that is best dealt with by completely ignoring it.
Build For Summer
Even though an average winter day in Sydney doesn’t usually have day temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius, the nights can be around 4 degrees and quite nippy. The problem, however, is that most buildings are designed only for 9 months of the year, instead of 12. Australian architects have collectively decided that items such as double paned windows, isolated walls and central heating are a waste of space and time when only needed for 2, maybe 3 months of the year. And so they’ve simply left all of that out.
The result of this is that in July and August, when it’s the height of Winter Down Under, simply entering your house will give you an instant brain freeze.
Dress to Suppress
Even having lived in the Netherlands most my life, where Summers are colder than Australian Winters, I cannot deal with cold indoor spaces. Put me in a freezing tent in a dark forest, I sleep like a baby. Put me in a slightly cold building, I will not stop shivering. It’s a mental thing, I’m sure.
And so we had no choice but to stock up on a fan heater, extra thick sweaters and electric blankets. Heck, some days I even wore a woollen hat at the breakfast table.
Ice skating rank at Bondi Beach. Makes me miss European Winters a lot!
Not Quite It
Even with the chilly evenings, there seems to be something missing from this whole Australia Winter-thing. It’s just too light in the morning, there is rain – but nothing spectacular like hail or snow coming from the skies and even the hot chocolate is never actually served steaming hot. People don’t wear Winter coats, a scarf and hat are a fashion item instead of a necessity. Even the birds don’t migrate to warmer places, but stay right where they are.
And by the time it’s December and you’re all excited for the Holiday Season… you realize that it’s summer already and you wonder if it has ever really been Winter at all.
So maybe the best way of dealing with an Australian Winter is to pretend it just never arrived. Snuggle up on the couch with a blankie for the time being and silently wait until it is all over. It seems to work out fine that way.