Now that I am once again living in the Northern Hemisphere I am reminded of something.
I hate fall.
Hate is a strong word to use when describing a season. Usually the word hate is reserved for discussing something vile like terrorists or cancer. However I've hated fall for years. My hate dates back to the 80's when the back to school issue of Seventeen Magazine would arrive in the mail mid July ruining my fun summer and reminding what was to come.
Fortunately for me for the past few years I've had the chance to skip fall entirely. That's one of the beauties of living in Joburg. Sure, there was a fall, sometime in May or June, but it lasted maybe a few hours. One day it was summer and the next it was winter. That was it. No messing around.
I can hear all of you now collectively asking "but how can you hate fall?" Don't you just love...
- cooler nights?
- pretty leaves?
My answers...no, no, no and no. Okay I do like apples but let's be honest in this day and age we can all buy apples anytime and anywhere even if it's not fall. And while I have gone apple picking a few times I did not find it enjoyable at all because we paid one price to fill up a bag and then Mr. Deep spent the whole time voicing complaints that I was overfilling the bag and that it was going to break, which I think it actually did one year. Of course I like pumpkins, in a pie, but it doesn't need to be fall to enjoy pumpkin pie thanks to the canned pie filling that most Americans use. And on that note I do love Thanksgiving but only because I love eating, not because it's fall.
I find fall very sad and I find Labor Day to be the crown jewel of the saddest holidays only to be challenged by New Years Day, which in the Northern Hemisphere is usually a cold day spent with a hangover. If you're lucky, in the Northern Hemisphere on New Years Day, the sun will peak through the darkness for 15 minutes to disturb the otherwise hazy twilight. Sure you can spend the day watching the Rose Bowl parade, perhaps the most boring TV known to man, while being jealous of the people in California who are there live and enjoying bright sun. You can also spend the day thinking about how fat you got over the holidays while simultaneously munching on left over candy canes and chocolate Santa's. You can spend the day pondering the fact that you have to go back to work tomorrow and won't see any kind of a break until Martin Luther King Day which thankfully is just a mere two weeks away although that two weeks will feel like a thousand years. Believe me.
Like New Years Day, Labor Day means the party is over. The minute September begins in places like New York and I am learning, Geneva, the weather changes. While Spring takes its slow sweet time to arrive in these places, fall seems to move in quickly overnight putting a chill in the air and leaves on the ground. The days become noticeably shorter and suddenly you can no longer wear shorts or flip flops even though you were wearing them with no problem just the week prior.
What's strange is I dislike fall more than I dislike winter. Winter is what it is. Winter doesn't pretend to be pretty or nice. Winter doesn't play games. Winter is like hey I'm cold, I'm dark and I'm icy and I'm here for the duration people so settle in. Fall is a drawn out painful power play. Fall thinks that it can divert our attention by showing us pretty leaves so maybe we will forget what's to come. Well I don't "fall" for fall's games.
What I'm really trying to say for the 9,999th time but using a different format is that I miss South Africa. I love that winter is summer and summer is winter in South Africa. I love that my birthday falls in the spring instead of the fall. I miss the fact that in South Africa it's still green, sunny and warm all winter long and that flowers can bloom in the winter. South Africans find the winter weather to be painful and horrible and they will complain about it endlessly but if you've experienced a real winter then you know it's not so bad. In fact, I think winter in South Africa is the same as summer in Canada.
Yes, during the winter in South Africa it's cold inside and you may have to sit in your house wearing your winter coat, gloves and a hat while still freezing your ass off as cold air sneaks through the cracks in your poorly constructed concrete cave house that doesn't have heat or insulation. BUT you can go outside and stand in the sun and look at palm trees and realize it's 70/21 degrees and that it's really not so bad. And winter in South Africa is short, it's June, July and August and then suddenly, one day, it's summer again.
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- American Expat
- Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.