Monday, July 29, 2013

The Heat

The heat episode of the past two weeks has been kinda hard on Germans....they aren't used to that much much 'stress'.  For Friday and Saturday of last week....the temps were up into the low 90s.  When you consider that most of Germany operates without air can guess the results.

So the national news (Channel One).....went onto have a 15-minute special last night after the regular news.  All weather related.  Ambulances were running constantly on Saturday.  Huge hail storms had damaged houses and cars because of the heat episode.  Old folks were having heat exhaustion in record numbers.

An American would walk around and note several things.  First, very few people ever waste money on buying an air conditioner unit.  They'd freak out just on the monthly electrical costs.  Then they'd have various neighbors comment or joke on the need for this (probably for a maximum of twenty days a year).

In the afternoons....if the temperature is around 90 ought to be consuming water on a frequent basis as you sweat.  Some Germans are still convinced over the value of beer or wine.  They are wrong, but you can't tell a German that.

Unlike the American attitude of just starting a hot-day project at 5AM and ending the project by 1PM.....Germans rarely get this idea.

Then you have the railway cars that have air conditioning.....but they were never made to sustain hour after hour of 90-degree plus temperatures.  So you step onto a car that is at maximum AC.....and you are sweating a fair amount while the temperature in the car is hovering around 90 degrees.  An hour of train travel with this about all that a reasonable guy can stand before jumping off in the middle of nowhere and just laying there on a platform with a breeze and shade as twice as comfortable as the train was.

Finally, as much as Germans complain about the middle of a heat crisis....a rainstorm is actually considered a miracle of sort, and generally appreciated.

Any American who has survived a decade or two in the south, and knows what 99-degree temperatures feel like.....has a fairly good understanding of heat and the damage it can do to the body.  Germans occasionally get a re-introduction to that feeling.  Luckily for most Germans....summer ends by late August....just thirty days away.

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