When you think ‘central European summer’, what comes to mind? Mild sunshine, a picnic by the lake, perhaps? I know that’s what I pictured in my mind-hole.
This summer in Linz, however, it’s more similar to a picnic where someone has cranked the heat up about 15°, wrapped you in cling wrap and forced you to do the hokey pokey. It’s so humid it could be Sydney circa February. Which is obviously delightful for Your Humble Narrator, as it makes me feel right at home.
It is also an endless source of amusement to read the local newspapers, full of tips, tricks and facts about how to deal with these unfamiliar phenomena known as heat and humidity. I have included two of my favourites below.
To be fair, though, it’s pretty much the same as if it suddenly snowed in Potts Point. That rag of a newspaper, MX, would be full of bullet-pointed lists and lame icons indicating ways to avoid falling over on icy pavements, how to scrape the ice off your car etc. Stuff that would have the locals here in stitches – they’s been shovelling the driveway free of snow since they were knee-high to a grasshopper.
My only complaint in all this homely mugginess is the lack of air conditioning. Linz and Sydney have many similarities, including the fact that there is a complete lack of appropriate climate control during one season of the year.
In Linz, this means that the only place I’ve been in all week which was in any way airconditioned was the local running sushi, where it was so cold my maki was nearly snap-frozen.
Still, it’s hard to beat memories of Sydney winters, which include huddling inside the classroom with my poo-brown blazer on, compensating for the fact that the tiny government-issued schoolroom heater emitted about as much heat as a fart in a snowstorm. Or the many times I alighted, frostbitten, from a cityrail train. As a city, we enjoy pretending that winter just doesn’t exist. Which explains the ‘scarf and thongs” combination so adored by sydneysiders.
Without further ado, the articles in question:
1. How can I best protect myself from the heat and humidity?
2. How important is it to drink enough?
3. Which drinks are best?
4. What should I eat when it is humid?
5. What clothes should I wear?
6. How can I keep my apartment cool?
7. What are the best tips for the office?
8. What if I’m lethargic in the morning?
9. What if I work outside?
10. How can I sleep well when it’s hot?
I admit, were I the author of this article, I would be more than tempted to suggest that Red Bull and midday exercise were the best remedies, and observe the fallout.