Friday, November 19, 2010

Swedish myth #1 - There is no bad weather, only bad clothing

One of Swedes' favorite topic of conversation is, undoubtedly, the weather. Good, bad, or indifferent opening small talk is usually about what is going on outside.

Given that the weather in Sweden is not the greatest, Swedes have adopted a rather optimistic tag line to describe the best way to deal with the Swedish climate 'Där finns ingen dålig väder, bara dålig kläder' which translates to 'there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

All I can say is, 'They Lie!' Or as my Mother used to say "Just because everyone says it, doesn't make it so."

Seriously. There is some terrible weather. And a lot of that terrible weather seems to be in Sweden.

There is some great clothing as well. And terrible weather seems to be a great excuse to jack up the price on some pretty great 'all-weather gear.' Fjällraven will outfit you in hardcore rain gear, winter jackets, and backpacks for several thousand dollars, if you are so inclined. But even with all of your fancy outdoor gear on, chances are you will still hate the weather.

I mean, let us turn the phrase around. 'There is no good weather, only good clothing.' That doesn't even makes sense. Because every Swede and their mother will tell you that despite all of its terrible weather, Sweden has some fantastic weather, usually during it's mythical summers, or for three days in April.

This phrase does not reassure me when I sit around wondering why I didn't move to Italy, or California. Places where the weather is often great. Swedes will tell you this is patently untrue - the weather in these places is often, the worst of the worst, too hot. When the weather is too hot, no amount of Fjallraven gear can help you.

I was thinking about this as I was trudging around town today in slushy rain/snow with  my giant SUV stroller. The phrase should be 'there is no bad weather, there are only bad strollers," because while the water seeped up my pant leg, my winter coat got damp and heavy, and my hair went to hell and never came back, my SUV stroller kept on trucking.

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