Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bad Clothing in Swedish-America

There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. You’ll hear it from the day you land in Sweden until the day you take off. Especially if you come during the winter. It has been branded into my cattle-like brain and has followed me here to Swedish-America. And the other day I had bad clothing.

It was raining. Like really raining. Animals were pairing up and looking for boats to board. I on the other hand, decided that this was the perfect time for a walk. I thought to myself, it has been raining all day, it’ll let up. But, just as with the stock market, past results do not guarantee future returns. So out I went. And despite having a glorious Bamse umbrella, I chose to walk over five miles without it.

Channeling my ever-optimistic father, I assumed the rain would stop. So I trudged on. Channeling my ever-optimistic father, I stopped under a tree, assuming the rain would stop. Channeling my ever-pessimistic mother, I began cursing and just kept walking. By the time I arrived at my destination, my jacket was soaked through. My shirt was soaked through. My undershirt was soaked through. My chest hair was soaked through. Even my boxers were wet.

Luckily, there’s nothing a couple of friends and some beer won’t solve. And by that I mean that the best thing about being wet is getting dry. Unfortunately, walking five miles one way means you need to walk five miles the other way. And so I did. At this point, I realized that not only was my chest hair soaked, but my shoes had turned wet, then dry, then hard. And during that time I had developed severe blisters on my heels and the bottom of my feet. But my heels were worse. So, instead of calling for a taxi like any normal person would do, I took my shoes off. At least that way my heels might stop bleeding.

They did. Of course, if you were reading carefully you will remember that I had already developed blisters on the bottom of my feet as well. By the time I made it home, at a much slower pace than my usual gait, my feet were bleeding, my clothes were wet, and I was angry.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And no bad weather. But lots of bad clothing.

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  1. You poor thing, what an ordeal! :)

    I hope you learned something today.

  2. Um hello? Forgot clothing, did you check the weather forecast before embarking on your five-mile walk?? =P This being said, when it rains really hard (as it did during your jaunt), even good clothing can't keep you dry, so it's nice you're not deterred from going outside by bad weather :)

  3. I never fully believed in the no bad weather, only bad clothing thing. Here in North Carolina we have had the second hottest summer of all time, with 86 days over 90. I got to laugh at them for the first half, but when I moved back in August I knew there just was no good clothing for this kind of heat. And I found myself missing Stockholm and their glorious summer.

    I'm sorry you walked all that way in the rain, and partly without shoes on. I hope your feet feel better soon and that you don't 'catch your death' from that excursion.

    However, I am jealous of the rain. Wanna trade weather for a week or so?

  4. "when I moved back in August I knew there just was no good clothing for this kind of heat"

    Well, insulation works against both cold and heat. If you look at the Bedouin or Berber people who has lived in the desert for thousands of years, you'll notice that they are wearing several layers of clothing. That is not because they think it's to chilly in the desert. :)

  5. @Mazui – never leave home without Bamse.

    @S. – I’m like the USPS, rain cannot deter me,

    @Shawna – if you can promise me no humidity for a while, you might have a deal.

    @Mazui – but the problem with heat is at some point you can’t take any more clothes off. With the cold, you can at least keep putting things on.

  6. That's just the point. Our bodies are made for temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees. Anything much below _and above_ that and we have to put on clothes for protection.

    That's what I've been taught anyway. I'll have to admit that I was thoroughly miserable when I was conscripted and had to wear full uniform in one of the warmest summers I've experienced.

  7. Haha!!! LOL - for an incredibly smart guy, you can be a bit...ehm...stupid at times :)

  8. I never bought into the whole 'no bad weather' thing while we were in Sweden. I did appreciate the Swedish coping mechanism though.

    There's something to be said about mind over matter that could be employed a lot more here in the States. Nobody gets called out for a lack of common sense, good or bad weather days - no jab intended toward our fine host.