Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Very Wet Winter by Marina Shemesh

A soaked rose
When you think of the land of Israel, images such as camels, deserts and thirsty palm trees pop into your mind. This country is, after all in the middle of the Middle East.  And the Middle East is known as hot (weathered!) area.

Lately though, I have been feeling as if we live in Seattle. It has been raining and raining and raining. As a matter of fact, it has been raining a LOT here in Israel. And the weather is icy-cold!

Ok, it is absolutely nothing in comparison to the extreme low temperatures in Europe and North America. (I really do not know how people survive there.) Keep in mind though that I grew up in South Africa and most of the country gets its rain in the summer.

Miserable palm trees against a wet, grey sky

Rain is supposed to be warm, not freezing! It should rain in the afternoon to cool of the earth so that you can sit in the evening outside and listen to frogs croaking away, and be attacked by giant mosquitoes (haven't forgotten that part!). Now I am living here in Israel and not only are the seasons the other way around,  it ALSO rain here in the winter instead of the summer!

Many Israelis and other Northerners, (people who grew up in the northern hemisphere) are amazed to learn that it is now summer time in the Southern Hemisphere. For them Christmas and Hanukkah should be about being cold, rain (or even snow) and eating warm food, not about summer vacations and watermelons and barbecues next to the swimming pool.

And what is even worse, is that they do not even know about the Southern Cross! Can you believe it! Us Southerners had  heard endless stories about their wonderful North star and how it shows them their way and what not and they do not even know WHAT the Southern Cross is!

So whenever I get asked here in Israel how the weather is like in South Africa I make sure to inform them that it is now summer/ winter/ whatever in South Africa. I also point out that not only is the seasons the  wrong way around here but one also get to see other star constellations in the Southern hemisphere. For most of them it is a totally new concept.

For some odd reason though, everybody 'knows' that water flows counterclockwise down drains in the southern hemisphere! This is actually not true - water drains clockwise and counterclockwise in both hemispheres. Bet you did not know that!

Fact remains that it is still COLD here. I am glad for the rain but I am tired of the cold. Remind me of this when I am complaining of the heat in a couple of months!

Even the trees are soaked

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