Thursday, July 17, 2014

Germans, In the Heat of the Summer

Summer has apparently finally arrived in Germany.  Some folks in the eastern part of Germany would say it was here a month ago....but for central Germany....we are about to hit 36 degrees Celsius in the next day or so....meaning 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are ten things that you might come to notice at this point.

First, old guys in apartment buildings with balconies can be readily seen all day long....walking around in their underwear on the balcony.  They don't care, and the cops aren't going to get calls on this type of humble behavior.

Second, a heck of a lot of ice cream will be sold between noon and 6PM.  For some shops....the next six weeks will be half their yearly income.

Third, when the new and modern train pulls up and you get onboard for a three-hour ride, and you notice that there's AC symbol for the train....don't get peppy and think it'll be cool onboard.  Generally, most Bahn trains will have AC units now (at since the late 1990s it's been the practice to buy only such trains).....but the units basically chill the air as long as it's 30 degrees Celsius.  Once you get over that point.....air is simply circulated, and it's like a sauna.  Halfway through this trip, you will question the wisdom of staying onboard, and if you might be suffering heatstroke soon.

Fourth, apple wine and beer is consumed at a fairly high rate in the afternoons.

Fifth, roughly ninety-nine percent of all German homes lack AC units.  So when you notice your neighbor all tense, frustrated, and hostile after a day of 36 degrees might understand their mood.

Sixth, German teens usually escape the heat by heading off to the local pool complex.

Seventh, it's always interesting to wander by a road construction site under the summer heat, and observe almost every single guy without a shirt....dark sun-tan lotion being used.....looking like some Bruce Willis character.

Eighth, the effect of the heat on concrete houses?  Well...the concrete absorbs the heat.  So by day six of a prolonged heat period.....the interior temperature generally stays up around 35 degrees Celsius even at 11PM, and barely cools off by sunlight the next day.  Hence, the reason why so many Germans are miserable a week or two into the heat period, and it's very noticeable.

Ninth, thunderstorms?  Well....for some reason, the general tendency in heat like this...especially in later massive thunderstorms.  Naturally, the humidity goes up and you get twice as miserable as you were three hours prior.

Tenth, the only general relief you can find is either shopping in stores with AC units and just pretending to look for a three hours a whack.....or parking yourself under a shade tree in a local park.  Otherwise, it's a tendency to sit and complain about the heat.


Anonymous said...

This is timely. I'm from the US and traveling in Germany. In Munich, my hotel was tepid at best. Now I'm in the countryside and it is sweltering in my hotel room. Great little hotel, great area. But as a person that likes AC and likes it cold, this is going to be a rough two nights until I'm back in the city.

Anonymous said...

Any time I cannot bear the heat any more, I go to the movies. The Frankfurt Film Museum has English language Films (sometimes foreign films with english subtitles).

It's located right on the Main river, close to the Staedel art gallery.