Laying it on thick

| September 7, 2013

Germans wear layers; it’s a well-documented practice.  I used to think this odd.  However, while it perhaps is an over-applied practice, I now understand what is going on here.  Mutter Natur spends about three quarters of the year acting as if she is teaching children about all four seasons, each and every day.  In fact, this appears to coincide with the school year, because the very moment our summer holiday ended, the sun disappeared and temperatures dropped.  Mother Nature is also back in the classroom, and she’s not messing around.

Last week, we woke to temperatures in the 50’s one day (in Europe, that’s the rough equivalent of 300 liters).   Sequoia and I left the house in a long sleeved shirt and pants.  By afternoon, it was in the high 80’s (one hectare, for those of you still converting).  Sequoia and I were sweating.  After I walked her to her afternoon elective, I returned home and changed clothes, lest I collapse and die.  Later in the week, it reached mid-90’s on a day that began with one of these chilly, dewy mornings.

I do not want to collapse in the streets of Germany, for fear of the following scene:


Me: [lying motionless in street]

Passer-by 1:   Someone fell over—we must help them!

Passer-by 2:   Mein Gott, I think she might be dead!

Passer-by 1:   I think it’s the American.  Oof.  I hope she has health insurance.

Municipal employee rolls up: You need to get a bag and take her to the dumpster.

Neighbor from over the fence walks by: [shaking head] One must wear layers.


In conclusion, Germans wear layers because throughout the day you must go from freezing your ass off to sweating your ass off; and you, too, should wear layers lest you end up in the dumpster.


Category: Ex-pat Parenting, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments are closed.