This summer I realised the planet is actually burning up. If you traveled throughout Europe, there is little question that no matter which country you found yourself in, you would encounter a distinctly unattractive view of a grown man wilting in the tiniest bit of shade, blotting either sweat or actual man tears dribbling down his magenta face.
The husband booked a ‘tiny house’ in the Netherlands the week that broke all heat records. Zeeland boasts that it is the area that has the most hours of sunlight in Holland. You know what they forgot to mention? There is no a/c to be found anywhere in the country. It was so hot in our tiny house, (which I explained to my husband is known as a mobile home in America but per usual, Europe has to be trendy), that upon returning from the beach, all of the candles had wet wax swirling in their glasses. Ever the private detective, I surmised that it was over 55 degrees Celsius when the doors and windows were shut so decided it was not a place we would be spending our days. Upon checking out, I had to apologise to the owner for wearing what amounted to a hand towel of a dress…because, well, I was wearing an actual hand towel.
My kids are born and raised in Northern Europe. One thing we quickly discovered within hours of beginning our Dutch holiday is that sweltering children are rotten children. Parents trying to parent under intense heat, sweating in unholy places, whilst putting sunscreen on a screaming 4 year old are also rather insufferable to be around.
The silver lining was that the North Sea was truly glorious and I never once complained about cold water due to my delicate constitution. Northern Europe might be the sexiest climate change holiday destination and another silver lining: no planes necessary! From Lux, we can drive!
London was also on fire which was the suitable bridge that led me to my hotter than Hades ultimate destination, a month long road trip through Texas. Since I’m staring down my 14th year in Europe, I worried that my brain might actually cook but took comfort in the steadfast European/ American divide:
For me, there is not a more melodic and welcoming sound than an air conditioning clicking on in the middle of the night. If you are in the deep south, the crickets provide the most captivating harmony and together, they form the soundtrack to my childhood.
Europeans turn their nose up at arctic air being blown at your head while sleeping and they might be wise in condemning such an unnatural practice for health reasons….although, until this summer, they have a bit less experience with extreme temperatures.
My brain didn’t melt although meeting up with life long friends meant I easily drank my body weight in alcohol so killed a fair bit of braincells. I’ve now returned to Lux still sporting espadrilles and brown toes and finding myself shivering with my seat heaters on full blast.
My kids have similar issues, clearly still thinking we are in Texas as they insist on wearing shorts every day of September and even when I point to the sartorial choices made by their Italian classmates, (layers of scarves and sensible jackets), they rub their goosebumps, roll their eyes and say they are absolutely fine.