Acclimated? Not quite…

4 Apr

I like to learn something new every day. Yesterday, I learned that I need to pack an entire wardrobe for the three of us anytime we leave the house.

We had a playdate. I was very excited because it was only our second playdate ever and it was with a local mom, not an Expat. I was really hoping to make a good impression as an American, and saw it as my first opportunity to make a local friend and really immerse myself in the culture. I did everything I knew to do:

First, I checked the weather. Looking out the window, it looked like this:


I thought we might need to relocate our playdate to an indoor location, but the forecast called for slightly overcast, dry weather and a high of 25. Having grown up in the US, I am still trying to wrap my head around what 25 is. I know that 0 is the freezing point and that 40 is pretty darn hot, so 25 sounds OK. I pulled out my handy units converter to discover that 25 Celsius is roughly 77 Fahrenheit. Sounds like great weather for the park, right? I packed sweaters and jackets just in case and off we went!

Next, we showed up 15 minutes early – a MAJOR accomplishment considering we stopped for lunch on the way and it is just over a 2 mile walk to the park. And, let’s face it – me getting anywhere on time is an accomplishment. Yay me!

Admittedly, I may have over-dressed the twins slightly for jungle-gyming, but I wanted them to be cute for the playdate. The Mom and I actually met over camera-talk and she never goes anywhere without hers. If I know pictures will be happening, of course I am going to make sure they are dessed presentably.


We arrive at the park and the kids start to play. Mine, having a complexion somewhere between peaches n’ cream and marshmallow are slathered in SPF 50, giving their skin a lovely titanium dioxide gleam. I can see little sweaty drips forming along their hairline and become quite concerned that they really need their hats. Check. I have hats.

I also notice that they are pink… no… red (clearly not from sun as they are glowing in SPF). I checked the temp again. 25 Celsius, still. It literally felt like it was 100 Fahrenheit (whatever that might be in C, I don’t care… HOT). Playdate Mom is making repeated comments about how hot the kids look, and discussing how next time we might plan to meet at an indoor location. She looks fine. Her little girl seems comfortable. Meanwhile, I am dripping sweat, my hair is getting stringy and damp, and my tank top is clinging in places it shouldn’t. I have already dumped my cardigan. Funny, I thought. My concern was that I wouldn’t be warm enough. Fantastic impression we must be making – I just hope I don’t smell. Perhaps we are simply not acclimated from our snowy, alpine home. Or maybe – it was just really freakin’ HOT.  The kids look as if they are about to have heat-stoke despite drinking an entire liter of water. I search in my bag for a solution. I have the usual supplies: snacks, socks, diapers, etc. I have extra sweaters. I have rain-proof jackets. No tanks. No tees. Did you see the picture above??? I resort to the only solution I can think of, knowing that letting the kids run around with no shirts is completely out of the question in this culture. This is how I came to be at the park with Billy-Bob and Bernice.

We made an impression, I am sure. One sweaty mommy and two glowing, shirtless bumpkins in bibs. Effing Americans.

One Response to “Acclimated? Not quite…”

  1. Jan April 4, 2011 at 4:26 am #


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