I’ve lived in the southern portion of the United States for most of my life. I’ve walked the beaches of sunny California, endured the aired Texas summer, and battled my hair and humidity in Georgia. As a result, I developed an extreme tolerance for heat and yet, until I moved to England, I never once considered that other people may have a different idea of just what ‘hot’ is.
My family was living in Augusta, Georgia when my dad–who was in the Air Force–was stationed in England. As upset as I was about not going to the local High School, I was excited to go to a foreign country for the first time. As we made our way to the airport I relished my last Georgia summer that I’d be experiencing awhile. Goodbye heat!
Now, keep in mind that when we left it was a hundred degrees. When we arrived in London, and then Lincolnshire by train, it was eighty. That’s a twenty degree difference! My entire family was freezing. We made an emergency stop at a local store to supply our dire need of sweaters. I got a grey pull over and a wind breaker as it was blustering like nobodies business.
And we were still cold.
We stood on the side walk, hugging ourselves and watching other people go by without the care in the world. The real kicker? Those people walking past were wearing tank tops and shorts, and some were tanning themselves by the river.
As time passed, I grew used to the difference and even found it pleasant. But the English didn’t necessarily agree. I remember one year when it hit the nineties and everybody panicked. There was dehydration and a few reported deaths. That aside, I almost laughed. If they thought this was hot, they should try Texas.
There was also a similar feel with my English classmates. You have to wear uniforms at their schools which includes a jacket (blazer) and our school wouldn’t let you take it off until the temperature had reached a certain point for several consecutive days. And it was just our luck that our school jacket was black. Not that I had any problems. Being skinny as a rail, I defied heat. Plus, I’ve never been one to listen to authority and–as the years past–I had no problem defying my teachers.
I guess–at the end of the day–it’s all relative. After all, the very people in England I laughed at for saying it was hot, would probably chuckle when I said that the winters here in Texas are freezing.
Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic right to it.