So, what’s the weather like there in Perth?
A tongue in cheek opinion piece by Marlize Venter
“So, what’s the weather like there in Perth?”
“Lekka man, lekka,” they say.
Ha! Double ha!
They tell you about the beaches and the surf, they tell you about outside barbies (not the doll-kind) and the outdoor lifestyle. And, they tell you that you can sleep outside if you want to.
What they do not tell you, hit’s you like a wet dishcloth in the face.
(Please be warned, this is the rant of an almost menopausal, middle-aged woman! And should be taken with a teaspoon of salt – for those who immediately want to tell me to pack my bags and go on home if I am not happy with the way things are in Australia. Mate, have you ever heard of creative licence?)
When it is hot, it is like ‘helwarm’. You open your front door and a heat wave pushes you right back inside, and leave you gaping like a fish out of the water. Hot flushes and heatwaves are not a match made in heaven, let me tell you.
They also do not tell you about the flies. Those pesky little black flies, that tend to cluster around your eyes, nose and mouth, because all the other moisture in the air has evaporated and your snot, spit, and tears are all that keep them alive and fed, it seems. Just the other day I swallowed a fly! Thank goodness the rest of the nursery rhyme did not follow. You want to gag but your throat is too dry, so you swallow, and drink water to drown the little bugger on its way down.
Oh, and those beaches. The sand burns in the heat of summer. You’ll have blisters, never mind diamonds on the soles of your feet.
You never open your windows or doors, because the aircon is on and you want to keep the cold inside.
Then winter happens. Oh man! Don’t get me started on this. For some or other reason the hot flushes are completely frozen over and I feel like Elsa the ice queen of Frozen, sans the hair, boobs and swaying hips that appear seemingly out of nowhere. And letting it go? How can I let it go, when the cold, no, the wet cold, come and sit in every joint that my poor ageing body has?
Winter and rain are synonymous in Perth. For the past three days, my washing hung on the clothesline outside and got the rinsing of a lifetime because it rained for two days. It is wet and it is cold. And it feels as if it is never going to end.
You never open the windows or doors, because the aircon is on and you want to keep the heat inside.
Dear Migrant to the Great South Land,
it sounds much worse than it really is.
Yeah, we have a couple of low forties and many high thirties in the summer, in Perth, as a chorus of voices will let you know. (There are other places in Australia as well, where is never rains, is always hot-as-hell, or hell-can-freeze-over. There are places where there are strong winds that destroy things, and there are places that experience floods. In other words, Australia has an array of weather climates that you can choose from.) But you get used to it.
In winter, we have a below ten mornings, but seldom below zero, and the water pipes have not frozen in the eight years that I have been here. The days go from ten to eighteen degrees in the heart of winter. Liveable I would say if it was not for the wind and the rain. (Kla so vrou nou met die witbrood onder die arm!)
And Perth is green and lush in winter, because of all the rain, you see? There are fields covered in white arum lilies and orchids so small that you almost need a magnifying glass to see. The natural eucalyptus forests are eerily beautiful, and the fireplaces, premium ports, and potjiekos balm to a tired soul.
The sunsets are breathtakingly beautiful, and those who know, say that the sunrises are equally so.
My daddy (or someone’s daddy) used to say, “The weather is not bad, you are just dressed inappropriately.”
I concede, but going naked won’t be a pretty sight in most of the malls. However, bikinis are allowed as it is a beachside town (a big part of it) and it seems to keep many people happy and smiling – because there are many body shapes, and not many are bikini bodies – but if you have a body, and it fits into a bikini, by all means, whatever blows your horn…
The weather in Perth is just fine. In your first and second year, when you are fresh out of South Africa you will look at us when we complain about the cold and say, “What! You think this is cold. Back home the pipes, if we did not have water shedding, froze over, and mother nature herself imposed a water ban!” I remember the Free State winters, and I agree, we have nothing to complain about.
Thing is, we acclimatised. You will too. There will come a day that you feel more local than a foreigner, and that is a good day because you will realise that you are home indeed.
For now, bring a jumper (jersey), buy a pair of wellies (rain boots or the cheaper knock offs at K Mart) and go dancing in the rain.
The weather in Perth, is ‘lekka man, lekka!”