It’s cucumber time. You notice it when silly things, in which nobody is really interested, fills our news apps and fills the home screen of our smart phones.
So what else to do but talk about the weather? It might me an obvious subject to start a conversation in England, in Belgium it is one to be avoided.
I might have mentioned that Belgians are always complaining, and the weather is their favourite subject of complaint. It’s ‘too cold’, it’s ‘too warm’, even if it’s not too warm then they say it’s ‘too warm for the time of the year’. It’s either too wet or too dry. Any ‘too’ will do.
Now is the time of the so called ‘heat waves’ (5 consequent days with temperatures of +25C of which 3 are +30C). We have always had them, even though not often, but nowadays in the news they make it sound as if each time is the first time ‘ever’. The hottest, the longest, the earliest, the latest,…
It used to make us happy ; it’s the time of year to bring out small inflatable plastic pools for the kids to play in, to play with water hoses, kids putting out a tent and sleep in the garden, fun times with outside BBQ’s where -for once- you don’t need to wear long pants and woollen sweaters, go out to eat ice cream, ‘do a terrace’ as we say in Flemish (‘een terrasje doen‘, have a drink on a outside terrace of a bar…). Where did those fun times go??
Nowadays it’s considered a depressing period, if you believe the news. A lot of death (and they throw numbers in your face), you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that, “keep hydrated”, all of a sudden there is but danger all around you. As if all people are old, sick and fragile. Nowadays people -healthy young people- actually get scared of heatwaves.
It’s a little bit contradictory, if you know that Belgians are travelers.
‘Travel : to go from one place to another on a trip, usually over a long distance’ (Cambridge dictionary). In Belgium traveling usually means ‘leaving the country’ on a trip
Being a traveler -going abroad- isn’t hard for us, if you know that when you drive a car in Belgium in what ever direction, after 2 hours you actually are abroad. But particularly in summer they travel south, or to tropical parts of the world, in search of the sun and the heat, of nice weather, of what they call summer there but what they hate here. To places where it is warmer than 28C all the time, and where they are happy to bear +30C temperatures with no complaint.
But again, now it’s cucumber time. There isn’t a soul at home, reading the news, and yet another heat wave is coming. Nobody to complain, everyone is gone. And then, all of a sudden I see it appear, on my weather app, I almost fall off of my chair :
The warmest temperature EVER measured in Belgium is 36,2C and now 41C? Is this a hoax? Is there some miscalculation? Who can I complain to?
It’s definitely time to go south now, where it’s nice and cool, -which 30C is compared to 41- : it is the world upside down.
Global warming is -literally- hot!
PS I am off to inflate my outside pool
PS I will be back later if I survive this!