An Education (warning: contains language some may find offensive)

The language further down may not be to everyone’s taste (sorry grandma) but it was a direct quote so is unavoidable. Enjoy.

The past weekend was the nicest weather I’ve seen since coming to this part of the world. 27 degrees and upwards. Glorious. I spent most of the weekend sleeping, or laying around in the garden (this is because my second job working in a pizza place is exhausting and long, and not just down to the fact that I’m lazy). It was during one of these moments in the garden that I received a lecture that was, in equal measures, informative and terrifying. Will, one of my splendid housemates, decided to enlighten me about Australia and the weather.

One of the tempting draws of Australia is the fantastic weather and the sunshine. Sun, sea and surf. The summer will not be like this. There is a reason Australian men wear mostly sport shorts and vest tops, and believe me, they wear them far more than they should be allowed! In Melbourne, the summer temperatures tend to reach 40 degrees and, I have learnt, it is a very dry heat, the kind of heat you can’t breathe in. And of course this happens every year, so work doesn’t stop because the heat is unbearable, it carries on and you have to deal with it. It gets so hot that possums get dehydrated and fall out of trees. Of course the snakes, spiders, jellyfish and sharks come out to play, even in Melbourne, and a previously unknown terror of poisonous octopus become a problem. I have been advised immediately to buy a fan because, come summer, you can’t get your hands on one. Will even advised getting a night shift job because it’s too hot to sleep at night and during the day you should avoid the sun at all costs. I should note that Will spent the first years of his life in Scotland and this has heavily impacted his (pessimistic) view of the world.

He described the four levels of heat I would experience in this country as:

Bastard Hot

Fucking Hot

Fucking Hell It’s Hot

Why The Fuck Is It This Fucking Hot

I have also learnt that Australia is directly below a hole in the ozone layer. I am unsure whether this effects the heat but it makes the UV rays significantly stronger. This means you burn quickly and more intensely. Plus, as I have already found out, you need much stronger uv protection in your sunglasses or you will have a permanent headache.

Feeling slightly overwhelmed by this onslaught of information I commented that it was very nice for someone to be this concerned about my wellbeing. Will’s reply probably summarises the perils of Australia quite nicely:

“I don’t want you to die, but I really wouldn’t be surprised.”


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