I am hiding out indoors on a chilly Sunday. Chilly is a relative term, of course. When I arrived here in late March last year, I had just survived a particularly long and brutal Chicago winter. I enjoyed a couple months of summery temps before experiencing my first Porto Alegre winter. I remember the first cold day in May when a balmy 65-degree high sent me running for my turtlenecks. However, I still managed to laugh at the locals who were dressed like Eskimos in parkas and scarves.
Who’s laughing now? If they could see me, that would be my friends and family in Sweet Home Chicago. Winter is on its way. It’s gray and gusty. I’m wearing my thickest socks, a turtleneck and sweater (and contemplating the addition of a sweatshirt), and wishing someone was in the kitchen preparing a feast of meatloaf and mashed potatoes*. It’s 54 degrees.
I just added the sweatshirt. And, not needing more coffee or chimarrão, I have switched to drinking hot water. Sheesh. I’m a joke.
On a related note, something strange has happened. Until recently, I felt a little disjointed with regard to seasons. It was weird to feel cold on my July birthday and weird to be sweating on Christmas. I was always relating, converting temperatures and seasons—commuting in my mind, if you will—to the appropriate equivalent “back home.” In this respect, being in the southern hemisphere still felt like some sort of extended holiday. A few weeks ago, though, I got an email from my Dad about the summer schedule for the family beach house. And suddenly, I realized, my internal clock had joined my physical body in Porto Alegre. For a flash, I thought to myself, “Summer schedule? But it’s almost winter!” How peculiar. The change must have happened when I was sleeping.
Tomorrow is June 1st. Ok, it’s still a little strange.
* In reality, rather than homestyle comfort foods, I shall dine on Ramen noodles tonight. Hmph.