Summer in February is still a foreign concept to me, yet here I sit in the blistering heat. It’s forecasted at 100F today, with a heat index of WHAT THE EFF WHY IS IT SO HOT.
Despite our advantageous location of being in the Northern Beaches, I’m still feeling the dredge of summer as I type this. No air conditioning reminds me that this was once a penal colony. I believe the harshness of the environment here created a race of super humans known only as: ‘Strayans.
These drastic summer temperatures likely contribute to the Australian lifestyle; Going to the beach, not wearing shoes, drinking coffee (this one doesn’t make as much sense), and generally not giving a crap. Australians go to the beach. A LOT. Mind you, not everyone lives right near a beach, so sometimes it can only be a weekend event. But if the residents of Sydney could have it their way, I’m sure they would go every day.
Ever heard of the Swedish fika? It’s a short coffee break in the middle of the day that everyone (your boss, your grandma, your train driver) acknowledges as just something you do. Australia needs something similar, but subtract coffee and add beach. Here, there is a level of Beach Bum that is almost professional. Ever wonder why Billabong was originally an Australian brand? Wonder no more. Aussies have the best towels, swimsuits, watersports, sunscreen, boats on the planet. And it’s present in (nearly) every corner of Australian life.
I’ve fallen into this pattern of beach-going. Growing up in Florida (ah, this old chestnut), going to the beach was something we did on the weekends, for the entire day. Here (Specifically beach-side Sydney) it’s more like: “Gosh it’s hot, should we go for a swim?” Seriously. How could I not end up becoming a beach bum?
I still (quietly) scream any time anything brushes against my leg (Is it a shark?!) but at least I’m starting to really fit in here. Seafolly bikini and all.
(Except for not wearing shoes into the supermarket. I’m still wearing shoes you can’t make me!)