I guess when I thought of Brazil, before I moved here, I imagined a land of sunshine and coconuts and samba music (even though I’d never heard it) and beer and beaches and laziness. Nowhere in my imagination, or in my suitcases, did I have room for bundles of blankets or sneezing or goosebumps.
Smooth move, Gina, I thought to myself when I arrived at school. As of this morning, it is not summer. It is not spring. It is not anything that resembles warm or comfortable. This morning was a true fall morning–late fall. Kids came to school in scarves, sweatshirts, jeans, sneakers. They came to school in layers of cloth. Cloth to add warmth to their bodies on a freezing day.
What did I wear? Well, because it’s Brazil I wore a skirt and flip flops and a tanktop. And oh, how I wished I hadn’t. The sun fooled me this morning. The absence of clouds in the sky fooled me. I figured, “Yeah, it’s a little chilly this morning. But it’ll warm up.”
And did it?
By noon, hovering over a plastic cup of coffee, goosebumps like little thumbtacks on my legs, I realized that maybe it was time to put the summer clothes away and start dressing appropriately for the season. And that season is fall and I had better get out of my northern hemisphere-centric thinking and get acclimated to living Down South. We’re back to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. As I write, it is 6:38pm and it’s been pitch black for a half hour. The windows are shut and I am still cold.
I guess, though, I’ve gotten used to the weather so much so that the actual temperature today, in Farenheit, was 68 degrees. Pretty warm for New Englanders. But for me, having lived in 100 degree weather for however long, 68 may as well be a freaking Nor’easter and I’m half-expecting a snow day tomorrow.
So, now I know. No more skirts and tank tops. Time to pull out my two sweaters and two pairs of jeans that I brought down with me thinking, “It’s Brazil! It’s summer there all year round!”